You saw right through me today,
And all the ways I can’t protect you,
Whether in my sight or from it.
And you stared, and I cried,
The first time I’ve done so since your birth,
And you saw me as a fraud,
As this parent by necessity,
And whose only banner is of Try,
Whose only recourse is to soothe you,
And to support you, to hold you
While you cannot hold yourself,
And to give you reassurance
When you cannot know you need it
And to let you know I’ll always be here.
Even if you see right through that lie,
Know I’ll always be here
While I’m here, and I hope to leave you
With more than enough to be who you are.

I can’t protect her everywhere she goes, and that is crippling to think about. I felt this loss, this squeezing of my soul when I looked at her this morning. I knew this wouldn’t be how it always is, with her hands resting on mine, calmed by just my presence. I knew that she would grow up and rebel, or be pressured, or love, and that her mom and I couldn’t be there if she absolutely needed us to be there. I thought about my weight, about how I need to do better and be better so that I can be her support just those few years longer. I thought of how selfish I still am, despite Candi and I being the least selfish we’ve ever been. I felt how I always want to feel: protective.

When you’re this hungry, everything is edible

Especially the puffy appendages of a newborn. Not that I would /eat/ our daughter’s means of writing & walking, but I would stare at them for hours.

How did we grow her? What type of millennia after millennia after eons after eons would allow for evolution to deposit our daughter, asleep, in my arms? How did this even happen?

I need to protect her. I feel every current of air pass by her, and want to inspect each to ensure they’re worthy of touching or, God forbid, being breathed by our daughter. She deserves better than anything we can give, and we must do everything to keep her as happy as we can with the materials this world offers.

I smile and laugh and tear up when I look at her. She poops, I laugh; she burps, I cheer; she smiles, a piece of me is rebuilt from whatever tore me down before. That’s what it is– she is rebuilding me. She is giving me reason and purpose, and I am trying everything to keep her as happy as she can be, because her sadness will break me.

I’m hungry for more time– for centiseconds and milliseconds and nanoseconds to be more tangible, so we can spend more of each with her.

Originally posted this on the app Tencil, which starts each post with a phrase as a prompt, and limits writing to 10 minutes. Nifty.

As a writer, I always worried about what I would leave behind. I felt my writing was, honestly, only being left for me. Now, with you, I am leaving something for the world. It’s more than me now, but it is my lineage. And that makes me feel more happy than I thought I could be, and more than I thought I deserved to be. You are what I will leave as a mark on this world; you are a living embodiment of who I and your mother are, and for that I am grateful.

There are always tappings,
Keys, claws, or fingertips,
When I write to you,
Keeping me on task and motivated
To best their pace.

I say that, then pause
To revel in the idea of you:
Not yet molded, so just
A blur, the perfect blur,
Undefined and yet
Familiar, family, loved,
Though you may rebel or
Embrace or fall away,
You will always be this
Blur, this perfect blur,
An embodiment of
Us.

How did you do this, daughter?
How did you give me hope again
That this world can be good, that
There’s more to life than trying,
That the days can slow to smiles, that
There’s time yet to be worthwhile,
That I don’t matter if you can correct
All the failures before you, just by
Being you.

It’s unreal. I am holding back from realizing how amazing it is that you may someday read this or hear this or whatever is done with text in your time. I’m writing to our daughter. This is so cool.

I should probably acknowledge that I’m a social media junky, so I should also probably apologize for being a jerk.

On balance: Our ignorance, our obsession

As a noun, balance is a perception of the distribution of proportions; coincidentally, as a noun, balance is also a majority of proportions. Humans tend to overlook the latter if we feel the former is maintained to our liking. In other words, the world is viewed as being fair if we are treated fairly; we tend to not visualize others’ views, then, because theirs are overshadowed by our own. This is our ignorance. Inversely, if we feel we do not have a majority of or equal proportions, we look intently at the distribution of proportions to provide insight into whether another does have a majority of proportions, and, if another does have a majority, we analyze why they have a majority. In other words, the world is viewed as unfair if we are not treated fairly; we tend to visualize others’ views in relation to our own, then, because theirs overshadow our own. This is our obsession.

Beyond the simple definitions above, we innately depend on balance as a means to both perceive and interact with our existence. We treasure symmetry as a sign of perfection and familiarity, to the point where asymmetry is valued to offset symmetry’s ideal with its opposite. Balance is integral to our species, and to that end we make obvious representations (yin & yang, tortoise & hare, light & dark,…) to remind ourselves how we strive for balance. We also use a perception of gravitational balance to physically position ourselves as we see fit; we use balance for our basic means of mobility.

I do not know the struggles my daughter will go through, just as I do not know the struggles her grandmothers, protestors for peace & equality, went through. I also do not know the life-altering situations she will go through, just as I do not know the life-altering situations my uncle, a retired police officer, went through. I do know, however, that she will face both, and that her race will be a factor, no matter how hard her grandmothers and great-uncle fought to free her from that burden.

Justice is not blind; justice is a glacier slowly, surely, melting from the ever-burning sun of societal changes; justice denies more balance than is granted, until the denials pile and fall off the scale, replaced by, but still weighed against, the balancing of society.

We value balance in all things. We find symmetry to be beautiful, and feel so strongly that we must also find asymmetry to be just as beautiful.