It’s been fourteen years and one day since Emet was born, which was more or less also the day I myself was born. Motherhood changed me in a way I could never have anticipated, rearranging every piece of my identity to reflect the part of myself which is now most prominent, most important, of which I am most proud.

That boy of mine, what a year he’s had. I’m so impressed by his constant good nature, this genuine uprightness that he brought with him into this life. He just came that way, and watching him step into manhood is beautifully bittersweet. I couldn’t be more proud of him, but goodness do I miss my little boy.

Our family dynamic will shift dramatically with this upcoming relocation, and it’s not really something I’m adequately prepared to discuss other than to say that I treasure the relationship I have with my firstborn. He teaches me about grace and integrity, about doing the right thing, even when the right thing isn’t the easy thing.

What should have been a monumental occasion heralding thirteen solar returns for a golden boy, instantly became a frighteningly tragic and deeply unfortunate series of events pertaining to the loss of our fourth baby. And as hard as I tried to fight it, what should have been a monumental occasion heralding fourteen solar returns for a truly remarkable young man, transformed into a melancholic chaos. Not only are we moving again just five short months after what turned out to be an incredibly complicated and lengthy process, I haven’t been able to shake the blues that bubbled up in honor of our angel baby.

One. Whole. Year. For the rest of my days, there will be three distinct periods of my existence: Before Motherhood. Motherhood. After Loss.

Everything about my existence has changed in the wake of that late-term miscarriage.

Thankfully, most of this transformation has been welcomed and positive. But there are a few areas that need some addressing, and I’m taking the opportunity to acknowledge where I started, 365 days ago, where I am today, and were I’d like to be this time next year.

As this day was approaching, I began to realize how disconnected I’ve been with my physical body since learning a baby had died in my womb. More often than not, this vessel has felt foreign, uncomfortable, unreliable. As a person who spent the majority of her life powerfully connected to physical movement, existing in a frame that is wholly unfamiliar has been extremely disorienting. I thought about how little attention I’ve paid to the proper care and attendance so deserving of a body like mine, a body that has been through so much but continues to function. The long and short of it is that I want to get back to a place where I make taking care of myself a priority. I really have no idea how it happened, gradually and then suddenly as is often the case, I suppose. But I haven’t been taking care of myself for quite awhile now, and the time has long since come for me to do something.

A Year of Wellness.

I am going to practice, as best I can, the art of self care. To return to my roots of being committed to caring for myself and my family through food and movement.

The last time I went on a cleanse, it was Spring 2013, just a few months before I became pregnant with Roux. I used to cleanse once a year, never while pregnant or nursing. So, I had planned on cleansing after he and I weaned, which didn’t end up happening until I was already pregnant again. After I lost the baby, I just wasn’t ready. Cleansing is physical, yes, but it’s also very emotional and very spiritual. And I wasn’t ready.

Now, I am ready.

Last night, Emet and I had a little birthday date at a restaurant that is special to us. He even blew out a candle! With everything else that is going on, I wasn’t able to pull together anything more elaborate than that in time for his big day. And he didn’t mind one bit. In fact, he was happy to be having some one-on-one time with me, something that is not too easy to make happen. I told him that I was sorry I couldn’t give him the big party he deserved, that I felt bad for being overwhelmed by circumstances not at all involving his birthday. And he told me, “It’s ok, I just want you to take care of you.”

Thank you, Emet, for all the intuitive wisdom you continue to bestow up me. I’m grateful everyday that you are my son, that I am your mother, that you are the one who escorted me across the most defining threshold of my destiny. I am so proud of the fourteen year old man that stands before me, your honest heart and your noble mind. Yours is an energy of stability, like a lighthouse against a raging sea, constant and brilliant. You continue to encourage me to seek humor in even the darkest places, and to remind me that what matters most is that we have each other. Your mama loves you, forever.

To you, the baby that never was but the angel that always is, I carry you with me everywhere I go. You’re always in my thoughts, perhaps you’ll always be, but not a day has passed since you passed that I haven’t paused at your absence. I’ll never be the same, and I have you to thank for redirecting the course.

And to you, this body of mine that has seen its fair share of trauma, I recommit myself to your wellbeing. You have always been an important teacher, I’m sure the lessons you have waiting for me as I tune into your wisdom are exactly what I’m meant to discover at this point in our journey together. I trust in your resilience.

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