I am 39 week pregnant, due in under a week. I should be burrowing down, anchoring down, building something around me to settle in with the baby, to nuzzle and raise him in a cozy den.
But every page of the calendar, every conversation somehow reminds me of the other voices that are saying order, purge, pack, prepare, pull up stakes.
I feel pulled in two such opposite directions. Moving countries and having babies generally don’t go together for a reason.
What nesting looks like in my world–squeezing baby clothes into ziplock bags.
I sit in front of two Rubbermaid containers and sort my clothing into piles. Maternity clothes that don’t cover my belly anymore, transition clothes for those lovely not pregnant but still chubby days months and finally, clothes for the heat that I hope will fit when we move 6 weeks after the baby.
Shells, yes. But how do I know if I can fit. How will I stretch still? How will I adjust? They are just shells, yes, but I feel the swelling of emotion, this buldge in my throat, the constriction of my heart like a waist-band too tight that leaves stitching and hem marks branded deep pink in the soft places like a wound.
It isn’t that I don’t want to go. I know we are going where we should be for this season. Back. I know it will fit again, the language on my tongue, the laundry on the rooftop line, the scrub of soil from vegetables, the dirt from the track packed into the grip of my runners. It will fit again.
And this wee one, he will fit too. I will wrap him tightly, carry him on my chest out of the hospital, past boxes, through customs, to teach him the word hogar, home. The word will still roll round and full.
We’ll unpack sandals one day and the next we’ll shake cockroaches out of the Christmas tree wrapped black like a mummy. We’ll catch up, with the local family we live with, as one can, in fragments, circling forward and backwards.
Ya me dijiste.
Oh, I already told you that.
Thoughts of what we’ll miss and are missing will circle like whirlpools of snow outside the lit windows. Less places set at the table this year.
The stretch and the adjustment—I want to separate these—baby and moving. I want some space between. But maybe they fit afterall.
My citizenship isn’t here. It isn’t as though Canada is really my home. I can still burrow deep, deep into hugs while I have them, deep into the smell of freshly washed baby skin, soft. I can burrow into the covers with my boys to tell stories as if the bed weren’t the only thing left in the room, to peer out the window of the plane as if it were the first time. I can burrow deep into the rich comfort of Christ—the one, who by his birth, left his home, the one who understands. And he offers me an invitation to take two disparate pieces and stitch them together. In them I can find new understanding and a new way of being understood.
What are the pieces in your world that don’t seem to fit together? How do you hold them in tension?