Ulysses Nino is turning one.
My body was full of him a year ago.
The I who is one, became two. He was Other, a periodic procession through the muscle and bone of my ripening body, a creature conjuring a crescendo exponential in transit from water to air, unbearable and magnificent, the bearer and the born.
So visceral then so sphincteral: “it was the best of poos, it was the worst of poos.” “Really?” she said. And then, before theres time to reflect or codify, a year of whirling and hurling atop an unstoppable Ferris Wheel, oxytocin surging through my brain, addling waves of unthinkable delight, delirious as a teenaged crush, deranged as a sleep-deprived crank, enraged as a tiger with a threatened cub, my toddler with a mother too feral for his months.
Harvesting their nails by headlamp I think of the things I want to celebrate. Where are our rituals to honour the birthing body? To have birth pass through you and be found ready is cause for commemoration, one year on. My one year old is too young to unwrap a present, blow out a candle, cut a cake. In fact there is still no such thing as my one year old, there is my one year old and me.
He is fastened to babyhood by a few threads yet. And so I think I am in need of a mothers ritual. One year since messing with birth, one year is just enough time to make sense of the changes, to do the psychic post-partum physio required. It is like gaining a limb after decades of having just four, relearning how to crawl and stand and walk let alone bounce a squirming child whilst cutting vegetables and talking on the telephone.
With this handful of crescent nails I want to make patterns under a brimming moon, surrounded by those who can construe them.