Ten years ago on January 18th I took a positive pregnancy test, and sat in my bathroom staring at it for almost ten minutes with tears in my eyes.
You see, it was not my first positive pregnancy test, five months earlier I had seen that positive sign come up and Frank and I had rejoiced at the news and celebrated and been so happy. Only to loose that baby three months later.
So, that day in January I had felt and known all day in my heart that I was pregnant again, hoped deeply that it would be true. I had bought the pregnancy test at the pharmacy on my walk home. Peed on that stick almost as soon as I walked in the door. Sat there staring at the results with the knowledge that I was embarking on another pregnancy journey, with an uncertain outcome, but still thrilled to share the news with Frank when he returned home that day. My heart would never be the same.
10 years later, on the same day, January 18th, here I am. That tiny baby is now a boy soon to complete his first decade of life, Jasper my first born, the boy who made me a mama nine months after I took that test.
I have always been the kind of person who remembers dates. Marking the passage of time is important to me, and honoring dates is one of those ways. That's how and why I remember the day of that simple test and really I didn't even connect that the ten year anniversary of that January 18th was the day that our retreat in Bali began, until later when I was reflecting on our trip and how seminal it has been in helping me on my return to myself after having Griffin a year and a half ago.
These past ten years have been about me being a mother.
It has been my privilege and greatest blessing to bear my three beautiful children.
I have also created a lot of art in the past decade, grown my paintings alongside my children. Its been a hard tightrope balance, and a constant push and pull. Drawing inspiration from motherhood to feed my art and vice versa. It has been a circle of working and living, each made richer by the other and both demanding my all, most especially draining when my children were babies and demanding so much of me physically and mentally that I did not have much at all to give to my art.
Each time I have had a baby I have taken time off from painting. I've noticed that for me with each child the year and a half mark is when it starts to get noticeably easier for me to start creating my art again. Here I am, my baby Griffin is 18 months this month, and I feel it...that getting back to myself, feeling like I'm coming out of my cocoon. Ever so slowly I have felt myself returning to ME, the me who is capable of focusing on mothering both my children and my art, that me that makes me feel most alive!
I was helped along this time by our big trip to Bali, which I'll write lots more about in my next post. It just happened that the trip came along with the perfect timing of the universe, with Griffin about to be 18 months and me with so many ideas for paintings but also with ways to extend my work and my practice. So many things percolating, and Bali served in so many ways to ignite that fire within me, and for that I am deeply thankful.
Perfect place, perfect timing, and the biggest gift was that I got to share it with my first born son, Jasper. Such a joy, and an experience that bound us more closely together while also helping me to complete a circle. From that moment ten years ago when I knew that he was growing inside of me, to this time now when I am moving forward with my youngest child being 18 months and needing me less.
I am putting my childbearing time behind me.
I am looking towards the future.
I am ever thankful, and so richly blessed.