Friends, I had a baby. She is 13 weeks old today. She is sleeping right now, one of her 40-minute naps. She is beautiful. Her skin is the softest, her hair the finest, her eyes the widest--she is a bundle of superlatives.
Also, in 2013: I finished my first year as a professor. I remember January as a blur of busy course prep, then February and March as a haze of morning sickness that lasted all day. Mornings started with smoothies brought to me in bed by the incredible J, who blended walnuts, yogurt, and frozen fruit day in and day out to help me through the darkness.
I went to conferences, submitted my first academic book manuscript (several times), wrote some Jesus feminist projects that had no bearing on tenure but were close to my heart, reviewed some books, taught a course on faith and literature for community members, gave a few sermons. I woke up one morning in April and realized I could eat vegetables again. I honey-glazed a ham for Easter. I felt golden for the second and third trimesters, which coincided beautifully with the dawning light of spring and summer.
I played the piano, an unexpected return after a decade-long hiatus from public performance. I traveled to the Midwestern U.S., and visited archives in Boston, and went on a retreat with some dear women friends.
I turned 30.
I baked with honey and coconut oil. I watched my belly grow. I bloomed with stretch marks in the last few weeks.
I drank special teas to help the wiggle worm feel more compelled by the light and air. She bided her sweet time.
I did the hardest work of my life, pushing that babe out into this world, after 17 hours of back labor, in our dim and quiet apartment. I welcomed her slippery, warm self into my arms.
I tumbled into love and the cozy monotony of caring for an infant, day in and day out, the nursing and night-waking. I read poems and novels and the Little House books at three a.m. I delighted in first smiles, first coos, first laughs.
I applied for Canadian permanent residency. I prayed more than ever. I wondered where the time had gone.
I visited family and introduced the wee one to a great host of folks who love her--and then we flew back home, on the cusp of the new year. A flight attendant gave her little wings. We went to bed at 8:30 on New Year's Eve, and it felt like a fitting celebration for a year that began so sleepily.
In 2013, astonishingly enough, I grew a human being. I suspect that in 2014 she will keep growing me.