“Where HAVE you been?!?!”
(Feel free to read that in the voice of Harry Potter’s Molly Weasley. If you are unsure of who that is, put down this paper and head to my house for a free educational series: Potter Viewing 101, is this your first day on Earth?)
Harry Potter has been on my mind a lot lately. I hear my husband reading The Sorcerer’s Stone to our oldest daughter nearly nightly. We had bought the illustrated version for Christmas a couple years ago but she is just gaining interest in the magical wizarding world now.
When my husband and I first met, one of the first movie nights we had together was watching the DVD of Sorcerer’s Stone. I had not read the books, they came out when I was nearing my twenties, I was busy balancing my impending adulthood and letting go of my teen years. In hindsight, I could have completely used some of the magic those books, and movies, would eventually bring to my life.
Back to the original question, where have I been?
The quick answer, not writing.
I tried. I would sit several times a week and try. I would start to write, the words slowly dripping out like through a half clogged drain. Every time I tried to write, my word drain would clog more until eventually, even industrial strength Drano wouldn’t work.
That was a terrible metaphor. Bear with me, I am still acclimating to writing again. Things could get real ugly before they bloom and flower. Or something.
Anyway, I also had baby! My husband and I welcomed our third daughter to our crew. My pregnancy was easy in some ways and really challenging in other ways. I lost my ability to write and nearly lost my ability to walk. I allowed myself to set aside my writing and try to enjoy what I could of what would most likely be my final pregnancy.
We welcomed our sweet girl into our family in April. Her birth was incredible. So much so that I do not tell the entire story often and have yet to write her birth story, I want to keep it for myself for a bit longer. Hold it close and sit with it until I am ready to share, if I ever am.
Recovery, however, has been a different story altogether. Nine days after giving birth I was readmitted to the hospital with a serious postpartum infection. I spent a few days with an IV in my arm administering antibiotics while I snuggled my newborn. I am eternally grateful for the nurses and doctors who cared for me. Leaving the hospital I felt more like myself than I had in a long time.
My recovery from giving birth and the infection has been slow but steady. The adjustment to having three little beings in our home has been a much easier adjustment than we imagined. The level of chaos has always been pretty high. Our newborn seems like a bit of calm in the midst of the storm of activity that is our older two daughters. They stop their flurry of activity just long enough to kiss the baby or ask to hold her. As she grows I imagine things will get louder and busier but for now, we are kind of riding the waves of chaos.
Somewhere in the swirling of recovery, adjusting to our new family, and diaper changes (yes, the two-year-old is still going strong in her diaper addiction, got to admire her commitment) I felt a stirring, a sort of awakening. I needed to write. I started with some (bad) poetry that I would scribble on scrap paper or jot down in the notes app on my phone. Then, I took on a freelance assignment. Then another. And another.
Now, here I am, writing my first column in a long time. Months. I can’t believe it has been so long.
“Beds empty. No note. Car gone. You could have died. You could have been seen…” Molly Weasley
Our beds are full (mostly ours), this is my note, our car is trashed with various snacks and toys, filled with carseats, and parked in our driveway or the Target parking lot (again, diapers), and I didn’t die. Quite the contrary, I made a new life and now, I will once again, write about it.
As for being seen, if you see a woman with three daughters who has no idea what she is doing but is trying to enjoy the ride, that’s me. Say hi, won’t you?