[A preview of my upcoming book, We Are One: How one woman reclaimed her identity through motherhood — Preorder Now!]
There have been many moments when I’ve wanted to help speed along the process of walking for Pepper.
I’m just really excited for her. At the same time, it’s just another (literal) step forward out of baby life that I’m also dreading.
But whether I want it or not, she will walk. And she will grow up, and it will be beautiful. As my good friend reminded me, every stage is better than the last. I have to trust that that continues all the way through life. And either way, evolution happens.
Even still, I’ve thought about luring her with toys. We’ve tried sitting on each side of her to encourage her. But more often than not, she plops down onto her butt and crawls, and when I try to show her that she can walk holding only one of my hands, she still reaches for the security of the second one.
Sometimes I’m tempted to hold it back so she can see that she can do it. But I promised myself that when I saw the evolution of her crawling, I’d allow her evolution to happen on her terms. (Someone please remind me that I said this when she is 16 and she is “evolving” on her own terms.)
When she was crawling, I tried so many times unsuccessfully to help her along. I worried that she wasn’t getting enough “practice” because our space is small, and I felt bad for her when she got so frustrated that she plopped her little head down on her belly and put her fingers in her mouth; a sign that she had given up for the moment.
I also saw that there were so many micro-evolutions between being on all fours and actually crawling that I never expected. First, she would rock back and forth for weeks. Eventually, she’d put some effort into launching forward, only to fall on her face, then she’d lift one hand for days and days. Her body knew what to do. And when she was in ‘rocking,’ I just assumed crawling was next. But her body had more micro-evolutions to go through before she was ready.
And one day, she just crawled. She just put it all together. Without me enticing, helping, or the space and practice I thought she needed.
So now that she’s starting to walk, my commitment is to observe and support whatever micro-evolution she’s in. If she wants my hand, she gets it. If she wants to plop down and crawl, so be it.
And once again, I’m blown away by the micro-evolutions between standing and walking, and my predictions about when it would happen were as off as my prediction that she’d skip crawling altogether.
What’s amazing, though, is that I know she can do it, already. She’s taken a tiny step here and there, and I can see her thinking about it. She’s totally capable of holding just one of my hands to walk, but she wants both.
But when we’re somewhere new and she sees our friend’s cat, or my dear friend’s baby who is three weeks older than her, or the laptop as I’m writing, she forgets her hesitation and makes a jump in evolution. She takes a step or lets go of one of my hands to reach for the kitty’s tail.
Standing in our friend’s kitchen, watching Pepper chase her very patient cat around the kitchen, Sibe lovingly mentions my resistance to every solution they put in front of me regarding our discussion of what kind of childcare options to use for Pepper. He points out that I find something wrong with every option. He’s correct.
A few moments later, in a desire to catch the cat, Pepper takes three steps on her own, and we erupt into cheering. She plops down and looks up at us with a massive grin. Exposing her sparkly blue eyes and two solo bottom teeth, she has no idea why we’re cheering toward her, but she’s happy to receive the praise.
I remember last summer, just weeks after she was just born, I was terrified to even take her to my mom’s house. I had anxiety months after she was born to have her out in the heat of summer, or in public places in case it was too hot, too loud, or too germy.
But one day, I just couldn’t sit at home anymore, and I had to get groceries, so out we went. I needed something enough to forget my fear, and it catalyzed a jump in evolution.
I was struggling big time to get back into work. Even seven months after she was born, I kept telling myself that I’d get inspired eventually. I resisted regular support from my mom to have regular work days. They were just too many hours away from P. And then coronavirus hit, and the world turned upside down, and racial injustices lit the heart of the world on fire. And I woke up. I let go and remembered why I do what I do in the world. We hired my sister, and I committed to six-hour work days. My soul woke up, I forgot my complacency, and it catalyzed a jump in my evolution.
So standing here in the kitchen, observing and admitting the resistance that Sibe is pointing out, I realize that I’m just not ready to let go of Pepper’s hand just yet. I know I’m capable, I know she’ll be okay. I know it may even be the right move.
But I’ve seen this play out before, with crawling, and now walking. And I realize that I may have several more micro-evolutions ahead of me that I’m not yet aware of. And that when a cat walks by whose tail I really want to grab, I’ll let go.
But I’m starting to see that evolution happens on its own. It doesn’t need force, enticing, or impatience. It will happen one day, without me trying, whether I think I’m ready or not.
Evolution just happens.
“We Are One” available Fall 2021. Preorder Now!
📚 PREORDER BONUS BUNDLE 📚
In greatest gratitude, with every preorder, I am sharing a preorder bonus bundle that includes:
- early access to the first four chapters (both digital and audio)
- invitation to an intimate, virtual ‘Behind the Pages’ event with me (and Pepper!), that will happen live before your book arrives
Register to receive your Preorder Bonus Bundle here.
This book is not about motherhood. It’s a book about identity. It’s a book about using life’s unexpected circumstances as a lever to open you up to the most authentic, alive, powerful version you can create yourself to be. In my case, motherhood.
Motherhood, for those of us for whom it was never in the cards, can do no less than shift the tectonic plates of your being. In the process, it can feel like it levels the life built upon them.
Embracing this will rock you, shake you to the core, and catalyze an expansion that would swallow the life you left behind whole — and allow you to live the full richness of life, heal the deepest parts of you and emerge anew, not redesigned, but renovated. Brought back to your true essence to create magic in your life in a way that you never anticipated, and arguably, could not have accessed without this massive ‘disruption.’
Our culture teaches us that it’s about balance. Finding time for yourself, making sure you take care of your own needs.
I call bullshit. Balance isn’t going to cut it. While logistics play a major role in the daily challenges of parenthood, for the kind of women this book is written for, it’s not about time management.
It’s about energy management, soul management. It’s not about balancing your checkbook and budgeting your time, it’s about creating a radical shift in who you are. Shedding your old identity and shifting who you are at the deepest, most expansive level.