I was asleep. Asleep when I conceived of you.
Asleep when I challenged myself to choice.
Sleeping in my critique of want and need, alone and engagement.
These circling dichotomies are real for me now,
but as I pondered your existence they lay dormant, deep below the surface,
rooting their way back to someone I used to be.
I sat firm in my choice. I wanted to be a mother. I did not want to have a child.
How could I possibly possess another human being?
I knew what I had to offer, even from within my slumber.
My experience and voracity were things that I knew I could share.
So I leapt. I stepped. I chose. I did.
And you were there right away. Too early for the test but I took it anyway.
And it was confirmed, twice.
The little sticks would be the voice of your existence that I would hand to my mother and sister.
Their screams of excitement were gifts that they gave me not-so-long after they opened each parcel, unsuspecting of the contents.
Oh My God Jana . . .
I heard you within me but I continued to doze.
You moved early and I was certain of what I felt.
You grew. You rooted. I took notice. But in my slumber I did not revel.
I did not root myself.
I did not reach down and grab ahold of you so that we could begin to dance together.
I liked how my body felt as it carried you.
Calm. Assured. Sexy.
I wanted to be one of those women at folkfest who let you absorb the music
through the casing of my naked belly.
I wanted to Be tall on my grassy blanket and pull off my shirt to stand with my hands on my expanded hips, full breasts gathered in some glorious tank bra, loose cotton pants sitting under your burrowing,
But I never did as such. I remained in my slumber.
It is only as I look back that I can embrace my mother’s words.
I loved being pregnant.
She had said that to me so many times.
But it only meant something after you were born and I woke up.
I wish I could have redefined her words. Given them my own meaning. Said them to myself.
Because I loved your presence in my body only after you were no longer there.
You announced your impending arrival with a great fatigue, but I did not rest.
If only I would have sat and communed.
Twirled you around to a simple tune.
Shared the groove that I later embraced – one day later – as the second induction kicked in.
The circling of my hips, held up by my hands as I could not at folkfest.
I spoke from my slumber. The deep and easy moan outed by so many other women.
It felt good to release.
I watched you descend through me into your own world.
And now we step together. Trip and fall. Hold each other’s hand.
Down the stairs and back up again.
So let’s dance, wee girl. Let’s step out. Step firmly.
Let’s Be to each other and to ourselves.
Let me show you how, at the same time that I show myself.