Tibault & Toad

not wishing the time away

I've been doing so much and I have so many pictures and words to share, but while my hands are momentarily clean of garden dirt I'm just popping in to wish my other mother readers and friends a happy belated Mothers' Day. While it is special to be celebrated by your children and husband for mothering your family, I like the day most for the reminder it is to pause and reflect on how grateful I am to be a mother, and for these children who have made me such, and how I'd like to be a better one. On Sunday, a mother of four grown children, and spiritual mother to many more, was sharing some words of wisdom during the church service. She said the same words I have heard so many times before: don't wish the time away, don't always be wishing for the next stage in life. And yet yesterday, as I was rocking Tenny in the dark quiet of his room before his nap, the weight of his substantial little body slumped fully against me and his little arms straight down by his sides (a funny thing he does when he's decided he's ready to sleep), those words were going through my mind again. For once I could actually feel how he felt in my arms, and my whole mind was bent towards trying to understand, my brow furrowed trying to wrap my head around the fact that at one point he did not exist at all, and somehow now here he was, with half of my genes, my own body having added matter to him for 8 some months, and really continuing to do so. And here he was, a whole little soul, feeling like an actual physical part of me and yet distinctly separate from me. And how very full my heart!  And also, how very vulnerable that makes me feel! People everywhere are so very grateful and eager, it seems, to postpone or avoid parenthood, with all its "work" and "duties", but they cannot begin to comprehend the depth of joy. A new life from me! And how I see myself in them! There, a flash, a glimpse of that same gold in their hair, that sea green speckled in their irises, that look, that laugh! And how misguided to believe that the hardest part is the responsibility or sass or dirty diapers! Indeed, the hardest part is, as they say, that "your heart is walking around outside your body", and yet such is the risk of such fierce love. 

And so, as his breathing settled into the same rhythm as the rocking of the chair, I did not want him to start walking or talking, and I did not want to do anything else. I was happy to just have him sleeping on me, and could have just sat in the dark with him forever, knowing that a day will come when I will give practically anything just to have him this small again, small enough to fit in my arms, wanting to be close, needing me. I felt so grateful, so in awe of it all. For once, I was not wishing the time away.

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