I see this woman. Man alive she is beautiful. Life is oozing from her, laughter effortlessly rising from her belly creating lovely lines around her eyes. She is full of career satisfaction, rich with travel experiences, plump and full from friendships and whole from love. She is known. She is seen. She is heard. She is loved.
I talk to her. Because I miss her. “Oh the places you will go” I read to her children, secretly tucking the promise away to give her hope. The places we had dreamed about, the grand adventure that she knew life would be. I tell her, “we will still go, there is still time.”
And when the thought of her slips away I panic, frantically telling my soul to search for her. Hoping she can ground me. Hoping she will anchor me while I wipe feces off her son’s feet. His own. I pray she will hold me steady through another day of meeting the needs of three pairs of baby blue eyes. I see how carefree she is and I wonder if she has known the exhaustion that holds onto my bones, the miracle that bone and ligament still move together to see me through a day. I ask her “how did we get here?” sometimes wanting to apologize for the stalling of our grand adventure. To apologize for the callousing of her hands and the stretching of her body, her mind, her patience. So much stretching.
I feel her tell me “I will wait. We will wait.”
I have no idea what we are waiting for.
Waiting for all of the blue eyes to be in school. Waiting until only one is in diapers. Waiting until they can reach the cups, pour the juice, run the bath water. Waiting for the exhaustion to lift, the anxiety to pass, the jeans to fit, the laundry to be caught up, the bills to be paid. Waiting for their father to return home from work. Waiting for life to be easier.
I think about the road that leads to her. Smile at the grandeur of it all.
But when I am still, when quiet has found it’s way into my mind, I know she may have to wait for me forever. And I smile at the grandeur of our (my) life now. The hard, messy, chaotic, robust, fulfilling grandeur of motherhood.
In the still I know she only anchors me on the hard days, when I want to flee.
The good days are held together with laughs from little bellies and discoveries of wonder in an afternoon walk. By small hands finding my hands in uncertainty, in playfulness, in security. Held together by fullness from the love of my husband. The good days I know I am seen, and heard, and loved.
I know I am whole.
And somehow in the still I know lines are forming around my eyes from laughter. I know the work I am doing is important. That every step, every giving of myself to another day of motherhood, every sigh of frustration and sting of panic is not felt or given in vain. I know I am teaching small hands that reach for me to become big hands that provide for their families and cradle newborn faces and hold frantic wives. I know I am their first true love. I know I am teaching them how to love.
I know they will leave me one day.
I know this is work. Hearty, sacrificial work. Work that is so important.
I know I have to let that beautiful, rested woman wait. This is the road I am on. The path is well-traveled, by strong women before me, who stand at the end full and plump with life experiences and stories of old’ and they tell me “you will miss this.” They anchor me, and urge me on. I can see the truth in their eyes, the combustion of truth and love on their faces when talking of their children. I believe them.
I wonder if I will stand at the end of this road one day, welcoming the weary, tested mother who survived these young years, with cheers for her endurance and hope for her future. I want her to see the truth in my face. That she will miss this. That the work she is doing is important.
Until then, the grandeur of this adventure is still unfolding. Strength for today. One foot in front of the other. Back to work.
Hi! Loving onelyric?? Well hang with me on FB!! I promise I won’t bombard you with pics of my kids! Well..maybe.