Friday, February 11, 2011

Slack Tide and Placentears

I learned a new term the other day and then I made up another one. At this point in my life, that's a banner week in the Fishman household.

Slack tide is a term sailors use to describe the relatively still water at the turn of low tide. It is a brief respite from the push and pull of nature's most powerful force, from the ocean's cyclical breath that makes us feel as though we're constantly moving, even when we're just standing still. There may not be a similar term in the parenting world, but there's certainly a similar feeling. I'm not talking about the sanity that comes during epic three-hour naps or independent play, but rather those times where the world may as well be standing still because nothing outside of this moment with my child matters in the least.

The moments sneak up on me - like a song on the radio that leaves me in tears yet I can't remember what you'd been thinking about. I'm talking about the days when our house is spotless or in complete shambles, when my "To Do" list is empty or impossibly long, and when my nerves are frayed or fine tuned by a recent night's sleep(lessness). I'm talking about those unpredictable, heart-wrenchingly blissful little episodes that can't be reproduced with words, pictures, movies, or even drugs. In those moments, I feel calm, at peace, and sometimes I even feel impervious to the next tide that's about to pull me away.

The funny thing about the slack tide, is that often times I don't even notice it until it's slipping away. Thursday morning, when the tide began to rise again, I realized just how good things were - which brings me to my made up term...

Asian Placentears

The winter storms have made their way south or north or wherever they were headed when they passed through, and we've been blessed with dry weather and semi-sunshine for the past week and a half. We live on three acres with fruit trees, berries, several raised beds, and lots of animals. Translation: there's always something that needs  to be done. The cool thing now that Amari can walk, is she can trapse around with Granny C and me as we prune trees, weed, mow the property, and most recently, plant trees. Even cooler than that is her willingness to follow directions and help out - mostly by putting weeds into a bucket, dumping them out, and starting over. She will also pick up sticks and rocks and perform taste tests in case we need to identify anything toxic in the yard.

When Amari was born and our midwife, Carla, asked us if we wanted to keep the placenta, Carrie and I weren't really sold on that idea. We didn't know what the hell we'd do with it and were both kind of grossed out by the notion of a placenta in our freezer, so we stalled with a simultaneous and lengthy, "Ummmmm..."
I guess Carla was concerned we might have seller's remorse be she interrupted our "...mmmmmmmm," by offering the suggestion/directive, "Most people like to keep it."
"Okay. Yeah," we consented with mock-enthusiasm, as her assistant finished double-bagging it. Since that moment, a thick freezer bag has sat on the door-shelf of our freezer, a deep-red, amorphous blob of blood, nutrients, and feces. We still didn't know what the hell we were going to do with it and we were still pretty grossed out, but much like the other half of the corn tortillas we bought last February, we eventually forgot it was there.

Early on we'd discussed planting the placenta with a fruit tree, but last spring passed in a blur of do-do and diapers, dog paddling in an attempt not to drown. This Tuesday, however, the placenta emerged from its cold, coffin-shelf in all of it's double-bagged, frost-bitten, blood-sicled glory. Granny C had purchased us an Asian Pear tree in exchange for me digging two extra holes for her apricot and plum trees. Not a good trade, if you're wondering, but a really good workout. Two hours later, Carrie, Granny C, and I stood around the hole as I scissored the bags open, dumped the placenta into the hole, and buried it beneath the roots of our new fruit tree. According the directions, it may even bear fruit this season. Who doens't love a delicious, cruncy, Asian placentear?

On a side-note, when I asked Carrie to come out for the ceremonial burial, she said, "Why? Do you want me to re-create the moment?"

Slack Tide


1 comment:

  1. You're so lucky you are in the garden already. Over here we are still under two feet of snow.