Whether entered into by hours of labor following months of waiting, or by hours of traveling following months of paperwork, you were brought into it. When your eyes locked those much smaller than yours and they stared not just into your pupils, but into your soul…your very inside.
You were stripped bare. Fear might have crept in among a new anxiety.
How do I care for you?
What do I do now?
They’re going to let you come home with me?
What if I screw you up?
Days follow and fill with sleepless nights, zombie moments, crying of all sorts, cultural transitions, and sometimes there are those who feel like they are losing their minds among their hormones and slip into a deep darkness when all they want is to feel joy.
Diaper changes, sore breasts, formula changes, full hearts, throw another soaked burp cloth onto the pile of your fourth change of clothes that day and onto yet another vomit soaked onesie. Seconds into minutes into hours into days into years…
Tantrums arrive, sin nature flares, cuddles are still sought, boo-boos are kissed, questions upon questions are answered, self-help book atop parenting book piles atop a nightstand next to a bed that is fallen into at night with a brain willing to tackle potty training tomorrow…just sleep tonight…only sleep…please sleep.
How did that boy get so smart? When did those lanky arms and legs grow? Did my daughter just dress herself and brush her hair and teeth without me having to remind her? When were these wooden blocks replaced with Legos? Those baby dolls with ballet shoes? Did I not but blink? A sleepover? Summer camp?
Quickly moving, year upon year rushing up quick as a wave on the sand and we have but a short amount of time to grasp it before it heads back out from the shore. A moment in a lifetime to teach them, hold them, grow them, encourage them, discipline them, care for them, love them…deeply love them before they leave our nest and spread their wings, eager for a new and independent life while we still have…
A life in which we will always love them, even when they break our hearts. Even when they yell, “I hate you!” Even when they make us into grandmothers and our community changes from mothers swapping advice on how to survive the day into mothers sharing pictures of the bundle of joy that has her son’s nose or her daughter’s lips or captured her heart emotionally even if not by blood. Community full of wise women that encourage and challenge and laugh with us and cry with us and love us through this life.
This Mama Life.