24 May 2012

All delight unclouded

Suddenly, Belgium has decided that spring-into-summer is here, and we've had a few days of sunny, even muggy weather in the upper 70s, without any rain (even though rain was predicted). This is, of course, a welcome change and one that makes me more energetic and ready to have this baby! I've discovered that I have exactly four short-sleeve or sleeveless maternity shirts, which should be enough to get me by--although this will be annoying in the short term (especially since even these shirts barely cover my belly any more), it makes me glad that I didn't go out and buy more spring maternity wear, since it's really not worth it for just a couple of weeks.

Gabriel comes home from daycare sweaty and simply coated in sand from head to toe, since they spend the days outside and there's a large sand pit to play in. But he's cheerful and giggling and growing and every day saying new words and sentences--especially adding more verbs into the mix. "Is" is actually pretty new, and I adore how he pauses before and after saying it, giving the "s" a nice long hiss. "Dat...issss...broken, mama!" He came inside from the yard the other day proudly bearing a scraggly bouquet of dandelions minus their seeds, and gave them to us. Candles! he said, because we blow on them. He's also potty training basically on his own, since I had kind of assumed it wouldn't happen before the baby and we were just following his pace. Even a few weeks have made a big difference, and now we have the dilemma of whether to put him in underwear or continue with diapers to get us through the newborn stage.

This week and next I'm studying for my Dutch exams, and there is an awful lot of material to cover. I thought, going into this and knowing that the term would end just before my due date, that Dutch would help distract me from pregnancy/baby thoughts, but the reverse is true. I'm not exactly a dedicated student right now and I kind of figure that I'll do as well as I'll do on the exams (if I even make it to the last one!).

Meanwhile, I'm still having poetry discussion group and book club meetings and doing other fun things. We happen to be discussing Rukeyser again this week, and since I'm waiting for our baby, I especially enjoyed "Nine Poems for the Unborn Child." Here are a couple of sections that I liked...

Nine Poems for the Unborn Child
by Muriel Rukeyser

There is a place.    There is a miracle.
I know the nightmare, the black and bone piano,
The statues in the kitchen, a house dissolving in air.
I know the lilac-turreted cathedral
Taking its roots from willows that changed before my eyes
When all became real, real as the sound of bells.
We earthly are aware of transformation;
Miraculously, life, from the old despair.

The wave of smooth water approaches on the sea-
Surface, a live wave individual
Linking, massing its color.     Moving, is struck by wind,
Ribbed, steepened, until the slope and ridge begin;
Comes nearer, brightens.      Now curls, its vanishing
Hollows darken and disappear;     now high above
Me, the scroll, froth, foam of the overfall.

Child who within me gives me dreams and sleep,
Your sleep, your dreams;     you hold me in your flesh
Including me where nothing has included
Until I said    :     I will include, will wish
And in my belly be a birth, will keep
All delicacy, all delight unclouded.
Dreams of an unborn child move through my dreams,
The sun is not alone in making fire and wave
Find meeting-place, for flesh and future meet,
The seal in the green wave like you in me,
Child.     My blood at night full of your dreams,
Sleep coming by day as strong as sun on me,
Coming with sun-dreams where leaves and rivers meet,
And I at last alive sunlight and wave.

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