Statute of Limitations
I’m not going to overstate what is obvious to many of you. That the first four months of parenthood rip through the stout seams of your reality. That nothing about a screaming, squirming, snotting, shitting newborn is endearing. That sometimes you don’t automatically look at your new little darling as darling. That sometimes you crumple in a heap behind a locked door and cry and cry and cry until there is no more cry left. And then they cry, so you wipe your own snotty nose and get back to it again. You know all that. I don’t have to tell you.
I’d like to think I’m past all of that, but the truth – and biology – tell me I’m not. However, we have gotten past most of the worst of it and slowly, slowly I’m piecing together some of the old energy and motivation, enjoying sunsets, laughing hard again. Sometimes. Again. Slowly. I wouldn’t change it, no, not a minute of it, but I wish I’d buckled this seat belt a little tighter. Nothing has tested my resolve like diving headfirst into twin motherhood at the exact same chronological moment I try to establish a farm business. What sort of an idiot would do that?!
(sheepishly raises hand)
As the fog clears, I’ve gone back to the drawing board in the spare moments I can string together long enough for a phone call here, a spreadsheet there. Yesterday I carried a few bales of hay from the truck to the barn for the first time in more than a year. More than a year! And, maybe only I can see it, but I’m pretty sure that some faint definition is returning to these arms that have hung dormant at my sides for so many months. Dammit it feels spectacular to sweat, bend alongside a goat and trim her overgrown hooves. Last week I nicked my finger on the hoof trimmers so that bright blood dripped down my hand. I grinned stupid at its sting, wiped my hand against dirty jeans, so grateful to be waking up again. We are tired as hell, but it’s time to go back to work. On the weekends Jeremy takes hammer and nail to piles of wood that will complete the big red barn, getting the space ready for our busiest kidding season yet. He’s clearing new pasture for cows. And he’s helping me finish what we started more than a year ago with that silver dairy. My self-imposed statute of limitations on doubt and exhaustion has ended.
This means I stay up a little extra late to jot questions for the dairy inspector, that I sneak into the pasture while the children are napping, that I write this post while pumping and also glancing periodically at the baby monitor, praying desperately that the two sleeping angels don’t wake up (Please, God, pleeaaase). Last night I wore Cora in a carrier while doing chores, and she turned her wide-eyed face towards the goats. No matter where I stood I saw the top of her little bald head turn to stare and inspect the herd. “You lucky, lucky, lucky girl,” I whispered to my daughter while scratching a goat that leaned forward to sniff Cora’s toes. I whispered it to myself, too.