Marching & Mothering

I felt the ache from deep within my bones. I needed to march. In the same way I need breath. In the same way I need sleep. It was visceral. Somehow it felt like the most basic need and the most profound need. To march was a means to survive.

To march would mean that I have already survived.

To march would mean hope for survival.

Because I am not yet sure how I will survive four years of a presidential predator. Of a constant reminder of how many times my pussy has been grabbed. touched. stroked. Without my vote of consent.

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Thursday. Thanksgiving.

I woke up just after midnight. Heart heavy. Throat dry. Stomach empty. I needed food, and my little one. Creating and carrying life in my womb has left me with a visceral ache in my belly when I am not near him. As if the separation of a wall is just too much.

Yes a wall is just too much. Fuck you, president-elect, for promising to build one. For giving platform and validation of such audacious inhumanity. Don’t you know that separation is too much? That the one bedroom wall between my child and I is too damn much? How dare you excitedly promise to build more between families.

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Six Months.

YOU GUYS. Elden is six months old today!!! But who the hell cares? What this really means is that we have officially survived six months of parenting in this way!!! Sure Elden can roll over and has started eating actual food, but we are parents! Parenting. Like (and night). For SIX MONTHS. And okay, fine, his laugh is real cute and he loves being tickled and held, but me and Casey?! Check us out! We are feeding him and burping him and we wipe his butt like 10 times a day and sometimes we even give him a bath!

And! And! And! We know the difference in his cries. Guys, I thought babies having “different cries” was some sort of urban legend that women used to make other women feel like shit when they couldn’t answer the question “oh what does this cry of his mean?” (my answer for awhile: ummmm, it means he is crying.) But babies really do have different cries. There’s the ‘feed me’ cry, the ‘I’m uncomfortable’ cry, the ‘I’m in excruciating pain’ cry, the ‘I’m annoyed I can’t communicate articulately with you’ cry, and there’s the ‘parents! One of you better get your ass in here or I’m gonna lose it’ cry. AND WE KNOW THEM ALL.

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The Sainthood of a Good Father

Mother Teresa was canonized this past weekend. And apparently, my husband is going to be soon. (Although I don’t think you can canonize a living person. But I’m sure they are working on writing a new order for this so they can canonize Casey.)

Look, I love my husband. Choosing him to be my life partner is part of my greatest legacy. Choosing him to be the father of our child; one of my best choices. But, don’t get it twisted, he isn’t Mother Teresa. Excuse me, Saint Teresa.

He’s human. And mostly a good one. But when other people (usually women) witness him father, when they witness him partner with me, you’d think he was a saint.

“Wow. Noelle. Do you realize how lucky you are?”

(Thinking, in my head, as I take my first bite of my lukewarm dinner) ‘lucky? Because we are eating? Yes. I’m lucky. I’m sorry did you want me to say grace?’

And then it hits me. Oh no, I’m “lucky” because my husband just took Elden on a little walk outside of the restaurant. I had been holding Elden and he started to get fussy, so Casey took him. And apparently this makes me lucky.

And apparently, this act of parenting (and others like it) makes Casey a saint.

I’ve learned, quickly, that the world/culture/society is not used to mostly good men. We aren’t used to good husbands/partners or decent dads. The bar has been so lowered that the small act of holding the small human that your small sperm helped create (or the small human that you chose to parent) now counts as one of the two miracles needed to be canonized.

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Dear Glennon

Ten days after I found out I was pregnant, I wrote a letter to one of my favorite writers and mom bloggers, Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery. Because, I told myself, if anyone could relate it would be her. 

I’m sharing it today because I’ve learned that so many more women, so many more mothers, can relate. And that none of the feelings that I have felt or been feeling are brand new. Nope. As much as I like to think that I’m advanced emotionally, turns out these thoughts, these emotions, these fears – they’ve all been felt. For hundreds and hundreds of years. 

Which brings me to the best news: we are not alone. 

in our thoughts. in our fears. in our emotions. in our lives. in our deaths.


July 20, 2015

Dear Glennon,

I just recently found out I’m pregnant. As in, a human being is growing inside of me. As in, I have a ultrasound on August 4 to hear the heartbeat. Not my heartbeat. Nope. The other one. The tiny human. Apparently right now it has a tail. A tail?! I am growing a human with a tail.

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Calm the F*ck Down

Casey’s summer vacation is winding down, which means Mama and Elden take Southern Oregon is gearing up. Which is a light-hearted way of saying that I’m about to be alone with my tiny human for 50 hours a week. And I’m gonna let you in on a secret that all parents know but few will ever say (until you call them in an utter meltdown and confess your ugliest thoughts and then, and only then, they softly whisper “oh it’s okay, I have thought that too.”) and even fewer will write it down. I’m gonna write it down because dammit I am a truth teller and I’m always trying to convince myself that I am not alone.

You guys, babies are infuriating.

And in case you need to know, the definition of infuriate is: make extremely angry. synonyms: enrage, anger, inflame.

Yep. It’s true. Of course what’s more true is that they are precious and kind and lovable and squishable and beautiful. But that’s for other posts. This post is all about that one trait. The trait that just when you think you actually might be holding a real life angel reminds you that nope, they are very much human. (And actually might be part demon.)

Babies are infuriating. For a number of reasons, mostly because they are human and tiny humans with tiny brains who don’t even yet know (or just learned) that their hands are attached to them. And as much as I like to think that that would be reason enough for me to have an unending supply of compassion and patience with my tiny human, I am learning that shockingly, I am human too. And I run out of compassion and patience.

Ahh, but it doesn’t stop there. Wouldn’t it be nice if it did? Wouldn’t it be so pretty and lovely and sweet if when we ran out of compassion we were able to just softly note “ope, looks like my compassion and patience is gone for the moment/hour/day/lifetime. I better get a glass of water and do a meditation.” Oh that would be so serene.

And fake. (At least for me.)

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Solo Roadtrip; Send Help

Alright, mamas. I need some help. Tomorrow, on Elden’s 145th day on this side, I am making an up and back in one day roadtrip without him. I will see him when he wakes up in the morning and be home before his bedtime.

I’m currently staring at him happily singing to the birdies above him and tears are filling my eyes. How in the actual hell am I gonna get in the car tomorrow morning and drive away without him?

It’s not that I’m worried that he won’t be safe or happy. I’m lucky in that sense. Hanging with his dad all day is pretty great. Which is why I decided to hang with that guy my whole life.

It’s not that what’s in store for me doesn’t completely mean the world to me. I’ll see my sisters and they are everything.

It’s not I don’t want to go.

It’s just that since he came, since he grew in me, and with me, I am no longer fully contained in my own body. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been bigger than my body. But now, part of me exists fully outside of me. I am wound up in his 17lbs of goodness, and his 27inches of love. So when I go and he stays, I somehow stay too.

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