Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Deep Breath Before the Plunge

I grew up swimming in cold, clear lakes, rivers, and creeks in the mountains; glacial runoff that never seemed that far removed from the ice it had once been.

During long, hot summers at grandma's place, we cooled off by splashing in the murky waters of the dammed - up  Saskatchewan river.

On epic canoe trips, the icy waters of Northern Shield lakes served as both pool and bathtub.

On the Coast, the cool salt embrace of the north Pacific lures me and I cannot resist the call.

I love the water, and I know the only way in to our frigid Canadian birthright is headfirst, or feetfirst, fully committed.

I know the deep breath before the plunge.

I am well into my third trimester now; Chaos will soon have a little brother, and I will have two boys under 18 months old. I'm on my own, broke, and terrified at the thought of the sheer amount of energy it is going to take to keep it all together.

I am up to my waist in glacier water, trying to gather the courage to just dive in.

There are going to be days in the months ahead when I cannot conceive of getting out of bed, or off the floor. Days when I'm feeling alone. Days when I don't know how I'm going to make it.

I am concentrating on that headache-y moment when I first go under. The cold stealing the breath from my lungs.

I am forgetting what happens after the splash subsides and the water calms, and I'm floating cool and refreshed and relaxed. The feeling of weightlessness, of being held aloft by something other than myself.

After the deep breath, after the plunge, the joy of swimming. The exhilaration of opening up, challenging myself to go further, faster, and be better than ever. The feeling of accomplishment, seeing how far I've gone and how well I've done. The satisfaction of overcoming the fear of deep water, of the unknown.

I know that, for the rest of my life, I am going to be blessed with two wonderful boys, who will grow into two amazing people. I know the challenges will be there, and boy howdy do I know the next year especially is going to be tough. But I am surrounded by a loving, supportive family. I have a job that takes really, really good care of me. I am blessed with the most awesome friends a girl could hope for. And, I have an astounding will. ( I come from a long line of stubborn women. Just ask my grandma.)

In these closing weeks of my pregnancy, life has slowed. Yoga, long naps with the baby, and enjoying as much time with Chaos as possible are my main focus on days when I don't work. I'm sewing cloth diapers to soothe the nesting beast and at least partly calm my financial panic.

I need to remember that it will all work out.

I will be taking many deep breaths before this, the biggest plunge of my life.

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