Adaptation

Looking back at my blog, I realized it has been over a year since I have updated.  It almost feels like there’s too many changes to process, let alone express.  Becoming a parent has been a transition that no amount of preparation could have equipped me for, and my child has challenged me from the onset of my labor up to every moment with her, making me a more complex, patient, and humbled person.

While there have been many take aways about parenting, perhaps the most consistent has been that of adaptation. Our first adaptation came when we were not able to deliver at home as planned, and instead of the intervention free home birth I had imagined, I instead gave birth hooked up to several tubes from every appendage and one from my back. And in my child’s infancy I have gone from expecting that I would chest-feed easily, to not being able to successfully chest feed, seeing tons of specialists, two lazer surgeries, and an ongoing process with the state’s early intervention program. And beyond any particular challenges, parenting on a daily basis requires moment to moment restructuring. Maybe today I don’t shower because she doesn’t nap; maybe tomorrow I feed her with my fingers tiny pieces of avocado 6 times a day because she won’t eat anything else; maybe the next day I will need to strip the bed even though I just washed the sheets because she barfed right before bedtime. For me, rigidity is impossible as a parent. Change is constant, and trying to control situations beyond maintaining a basic level of safety is a losing battle.

So, I have worked hard to find comfort in the constant shifts, and to learn from the unpredictability. And as always, it is helping to teach me about political and social struggle, as well as health. In a way that feels really different from and much more acute than “its all process” or “struggle is change”, being a parent has me looking closely at every moment, not because of what it might mean for the future, but for what it is in the present. We are in a historical moment that both looks bleaker than any in my own lifetime, and is birthing enormous resistance and social upheaval around the world. For most of the last decade of my life I have tried to turn observations about the world into definitive analysis about what lies ahead, always searching for evidence of an inevitable social revolution. Now, when I feel the most urgent about this for the sake of my own child, I am also the most at peace with the notion that there might not be any definitive path to liberation, and that whatever unfolds will not look like it does in my imagination.

Instead of feeling hopeless about this, I feel full of curiosity. I am working to see the world through the lens of a brand new person, and to integrate the complexities of daily life for all beings into my view. Rather than feel immobilized, I feel motivated to find new ways to be both a revolutionary and a parent, and to understand the ways different people negotiate their daily struggles to both survive and fight back. I am excited to continue to learn and grow, and hold compassion for every current moment.

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