She arrived on a December night, and our world was forever changed. We’re now in the midst of a new love story, a new life story. I’m learning more about matters of the heart than I ever could have imagined; my fierce love for my daughter is pointing out my weaknesses and developing new strengths in their place. Pregnancy, birth, motherhood…every aspect of it, every moment, is transformative.
Though my heart is filled to overflowing, there are days when it feels like the rest of me – the writer, the arborist, the athlete, the one who meditates, the one who reads, the one who enjoys a good beer or two after a long day’s work – has been swept away in the current. I joke that my new job title is Input & Output Coordinator for Sylvan Quintano Enterprises. Time to update the resume.
During this “longest shortest time,” writing feels a million miles away. But I have faith that I’ll find my way back. I have faith that this precious time with Sylvie is the most important thing. And a better writer – a better woman – will be born of it.
I haven’t completely let go of my work. I have a speaking engagement and book signing in Utah in May. Sylvie will join me. I write letters to my daughter – to be opened when she’s older – as nap time allows. A friend has a story for me to work on for High Country News. And my great-uncle is never far from my mind. His story continues to haunt me, and I know his path will make it onto paper. It must. I owe it to myself, and I owe it to him.
For now, though, the days are dominated by diaper changes and breastfeeding, holding and hugging my little girl. This is the most important work of my life. Everything else can wait just a little longer for the words still to be told.