Feeling Vulnerable & Holding Things Close

A few months ago, I wrote this blog post when I was feeling vulnerable about my impending child. After wanting him so fiercely for so many long years, the prospect of his arrival was completely freaking me out.

To be expected, I suppose. Change is hard.

A few weeks ago, in a yoga class, the teacher moved us from upward dog to downward dog.

“Easy through the transition,” she said. “Take it slowly,” and I immediately thought to myself, Oh. I’d forgotten.?

To take it slowly, I mean.

Feeling vulnerable and holding things close. Why is change so hard? Here's why.

As I’m writing this post?and, full disclosure, I’m scheduling it for a couple weeks out, so who knows what I’ll be feeling by the time you read this?I’ve been having a bit of a hard time. Feeling vulnerable. There’s been so much joy in my life, with my summer off, with Baby S growing into this little kid who grabs my?eyeballs and imitates me hooting like an owl and grins and kicks his legs whenever L walks into the room. So much joy.

And yet, so much change: he doesn’t fall asleep on my shoulder after nursing in the middle of the night anymore, his weight there like a little warm delicious bean bag. Most nights, he fusses and wriggles, and I think, why haven’t we successfully?night weaned yet? (But I digress.) We moved him into L’s room, and while I could barely contain my joy at having my bedroom back, another small piece of me thought, He'll be going off to college any minute now. Click To Tweet

And more than all of that, I’m feeling like I’m finally coming out of the postpartum period and finding myself again: my angsty writer self, the one who agonizes over her success and whether she’s any good. Yup, I’ve been tossing around those old dark beans.

Transitions are difficult. As poet Mark Halliday says in his beautiful poem “64 Elmgrove,”?about losing his first love:

“I am not at all a Hindu, I’ve never been a Hindu/I want to keep things?/what I can’t lose is the feeling that things are/taken away because I haven’t understood/the right way to hold them close.”

What is the right way to hold things close? I don’t know, but I’m really trying to find out.

p.s. Here’s that blog post again. And here’s?another great poem.?



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  1. Alison

    Unfortunately, I realize every day that holding things close means letting them go. Transitions are the hardest and I feel like my biggest one is coming up with S on his way out of my home. I have never felt this kind of sadness mixed with pride and excitement. Three million times more even than when he was a little premature hatchling in the incubator in the NICU.

    • Susie Meserve

      Oh, I know. I was just thinking how teenage years and kids going off to college is the biggest transition of all. At least at this stage, my S is within arms’ reach and there’s the illusion of control. Good luck this next year. S is such a gem. He’ll do you proud. XXXX


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