Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The challenge begins

This is Claire Neema. She arrived on December 27th. She is doing great, at nine pounds, and is super chill and sleepy all day, but ready to party all night!

And these are 2 packages from Congo. Filled with SHONA merchandise. They arrived on January 3rd.

They are also doing great. Except that they are still sitting in my apartment untouched. I only opened them so I could take this picture.

So begins the challenge. Claire is a beautiful new addition to our life and we love her infinitely. But I am also a bit sleep deprived and fuzzy at this point, finding it rather difficult to accomplish...well...much of anything beyond keeping Claire fed and clothed. Well...mostly just fed. Her grandmother seems to have taken over the "clothed" part...delighting in the huge array of outfits we have been given. If it were up to me, Claire would still be in a diaper and t shirt everyday.

At some point I will actually get some pictures of these new products, that the SHONA ladies work so hard on, and you will see me announce new stuff in our online store. I'm not sure if that will be a day from now or a month from now. But at least you'll know the effort that went into getting those new pictures online, in the midst of all the pauses.

So far my experience of having a child seems to be a lot like an African rainstorm. In Africa, you glance at the sky from time to time, and sometimes you see the clouds rolling in. You know it will rain soon, and so life just pauses. If you are out walking, you stand under an overhang and wait for the rain to pass. Often you end up crowded under the overhang with a random collection of people that were passing by. And so you make new friends. Or if you are out visiting someone, they put on another cup of tea, and you settle in for a slightly longer visit. And if you were at home getting ready to go somewhere, you just wait. You put your feet up, listen to the sound of rain hitting a tin roof, and enjoy the pause in the middle of the day.

Now, my days seem to have many of these pauses. Not because of rain, but because of Claire. Claire decides she is hungry and starts crying, and my whole world is put on pause.

The African rain was one of my favorite parts of Africa. It slows life down, and reminds us that we don't really run the world according to our own schedule. Seeing the clouds roll in, and hearing the patter of rain on tin roofs, helped me to enjoy the moment, even when it isn't exactly what I planned to do. It gave me permission to surrender myself and my time.

And so here I am now, with Claire. And I hope that I can cherish these pauses as well. These breaks throughout the day (and mostly the night!!) where I put down my hands full of work and sit in a rocking chair, listening to the quiet breathing (and snuffling) of this little baby...these breaks are precious too.

In fact I've taken 2 of them, just in the midst of writing this one blog entry. So if my blog entries seem fewer and farther between, and my product photos take longer to get online, you can know that they are punctuated by the cry of a little one, who just like the sound of rain on a tin roof, helps to remind me that life is made richer because of these pauses in the midst of our days.


Rachel Strohm said...


Rena said...

She's beautiful, Dawn! I love the Swahili middle name as well. Congrats to you and Sam!

Lauren said...

Congratulations!! Sending you much love and blessings... :)

Shona said...

Thank you all! Rena it was difficult deciding on a Swahili name that made sense to people in Goma, as names in Goma are quite different from Kenyan Swahili names, and everyone has different opinions, but neema seems to suit quite well. Glad u like it.

companies in czech republic said...

what a big but nice challenge :)