catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 12, Num 2 :: 2013.01.18 — 2013.01.31


Dressing my daughter

Five months ago, I became a mother, a role I immediately realized translates to “an overwhelmingly exposed version of one’s former self.” The months leading up to Zoey’s birth had lulled me into a false understanding of what this experience would be like, what motherhood would be made up of: the smell of baby oil, little coos of wonder, and mainly, me guiding her along the first steps of her journey toward personhood.

So imagine my surprise when I birthed a whole person.

Soul and all, there she was. Moment one, teaching me about life and God, or as I like to call Him, Love. The second her eyes found mine, I assumed a different position in this world. I was more of a student in that moment than I had been in twenty years of school.

If you ask anyone who was around those first few weeks, I’m sure they’ll argue this point, but truly, I felt calmer than I have in my entire life. I felt like my child was okay and I was okay and that God was very much in and between us. It was a sacred time, the feeling of which I will never forget. I trusted this seemingly helpless infant more than anyone I had ever known and so I took my cues from her and learned to listen to my cravings for sleep and sustenance just as she did. I became gentler.

One day while I was dressing a very protestant Zoey, the ridiculousness of the whole “getting dressed” thing hit me, very suddenly and severely. There she was, wholeness and imperfect perfection in a diaper. And here I was throwing a bright pink onesie with ruffles on the bottom and matching hat all over her pure goodness. I almost cried. I apologized. I tried to explain: Oh Zo, I am sorry. I am so, so sorry. There are silly, ridiculous things that we, humans — your people — do. Forgive us. Most of us are trying our best. Most of us spend our entire lives dressing, eating, drinking, sleeping, medicating our way back to where you are right now: nearer to God, to love, to truth. We forget we come from and are these things. We’re told we’re otherwise by very loud voices. In the quiet, we remember again. You are goodness, so am I and so are the people we adore. So are the people we don’t think we have time for. Let’s remind each other of this. Always. Amen.

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