I’ve started and stopped this post on quite a few occasions because I believe that what we say truly matters and I want to be intentional with my words. I also want to set an example to Mila who may one day stumble upon this online journal and wonder who her mom really was, and what she was feeling in 2020, a year I think we’d all like to see end at this point.
It’s true what they say—having kids changes you in ways you didn’t think possible. Suddenly caring completely for someone else’s every need is… well it’s a lot of things, really. Fulfilling and meaningful in all the right ways. It’s also exhausting and isolating, and I’m not even talking about the pandemic though that certainly presents its own challenges.
I was watching CNN on Saturday morning when the news flooded my living room. I was hesitant to react and didn’t know what to feel (is this actually happening? Could this be true?? Are we really finally fucking done with this?!) when all at once my phone buzzed. Again. And again.
I hugged Mila tightly. At that moment, we were the only two in the room and it seemed fitting that we had this quiet time to celebrate.
It was done.
The long nightmare we’ve all lived through these past four years was finally coming to an end. I don’t think I realized until that moment how meaningful this victory was. It isn’t just about me anymore. I want Mila to know a kinder world than the one we’ve lived through these past few years. Ever since I gave birth in April (and in the weeks leading up to Mila’s arrival), I’ve held this pressing weight on my shoulders. The weight of new mom struggles and postpartum and Covid anxiety and aging parents and a salary decrease and George Floyd and racial injustice and toxic news cycles and arguments about politics at dinner tables and being unable to get Mila to breastfeed and feeling robbed of so many firsts and wanting to have my family here…
And the constant static of wanting to know when things will be normal again.
Who knows when (if) normal returns. I think it’ll look different when it finally enters our lives again.
In a year of immeasurable loss and hardship, I am feeling ready to heal.
And I think our country is, too.