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Both Sides, Now

“I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all”

I've looked at clouds from both sides now. From up and down and still somehow. It's cloud's illusions I recall. I really don't know clouds..

It’s not just about parenting a baby while in my late 20s, and then parenting a baby now.

It’s about parenting a third, while having grown the others to just over and just under a decade. It’s parenting them then, when life at least seemed simpler (right?), before the culmination of our climate changes and our prejudices and perhaps even our food and/or animal and/or food AS animal choices caught up to us, and gave us this unfamiliar world. Like a stranger world, with its own rules and regulations and oddities. Its own murky bogs and tangled, unforgiving forests.

And yet, its own sparkly waterways and cotton candy forests too.

“Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way”

It’s all that and more. Parenting back then, as barely an adult, with youthful theories of magic and mystery. And parenting now, as not yet but close to middle age, with theories of magic and mystery despite that. Or even in spite of that, as the more hate and darkness I see through the years is brightened and blown out by the love and the light. The lightness. They all three have that same mama, the one with childlike wonder, and only sometimes any sense of feeling jaded. When I go down into darkness, I do go hard, but only to see things brighter on the other side.

It builds; my belief in the divine. And oh, how divine.

And you, dear Rider, are perhaps not unlucky at all to be born through this, and to be born to us. Now. From both sides, now. Scarlet and Des have seen both sides of the glass; the new, and the years of wear and tear and glare. The spots and smudges you can’t rub away no matter how hard you try. You, sweet Rider, will find that you can see through the glass anyway, despite and in spite of the wear and tear and glare and murky, sinister stains. You are lucky. To see the light shining through, to see that there always IS a light to shine through, and to see that glass can withstand the beatings and markings. Really, there’s nothing else you know, other than to be held above and beyond and just so. Lovingly crafted and cared for; faced to see both sides. Now.

And as you turn your head, we too, can see both sides, now.

This way and that, then and now, possibility and youth both within my reach, and ripped away too. It’s so weird to experience time as it flows and clogs – then, and now. Three times, really. With impatience and panic. There are three of them now. The pain I feel (physically) as I draw you near, to protect you from anything and everything. The pain I feel (emotionally) as I think of holding you outstretched – for and into a world so unsteady and uncertain. So I rock, and you rock, on the rolling seas of this leaky, cranky lullabye. And we all rock, from both sides, and from all different sides; of what we see, what we’ll see, what we dream, and what we’ll be. Many times.

“Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way”

I’ve seen parenting from both sides, now. As a new parent and as a semi-experienced parent. I know that there are years of parenting and grandparenting ahead, and perhaps I still sound like a newbie to those who are older/wiser. I don’t think so, though. What more will come our way?

We’ll look at everything from both sides, now, and one day. And set sail on adventures, anyway.

“It’s life’s illusions that I recall
I really don’t know life
I really don’t know life at all”

“Both Sides, Now” (the newer, slower version) was song #11 on our birthing playlist.

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4 Comments

  1. I really think with Anneliese I was a better parent and also maybe worse sometimes. At times I have been like get with the program like everyone else in the family is, but then I realize she has to be taught how to “get with the program. 🙂 Oops!

    Love your little guy. I am taking next week off and so a very happy holiday season to you and yours! Hugs!

  2. When I see his cute face on my feed, it gives me so much hope for the future! Rider will never know about the year it has been, but will have a better future!

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