Some days it feels like the eleventh hour at 1pm.
Most days you go to sleep with the sensation of having been physically, mentally and emotionally water-boarded for the last twelve plus hours. Everyday, somehow, you continue to show up for more. And even more miraculously you find deep sustenance in a single smile or later on a whispered, “I love you, mama.”
In these small, poignant slivers of time, it feels as life breathes you. That somehow there is nothing more beautiful. That you are complete. When laying, my body curled around Quinn, my 3 month old son, I have a distinct sense of not being physically able to be close enough. That this soft baby skin against my own is all too much distance still. That I want simply to melt into him, to feel his soul in my bones. Above all, I want this for my sons, for them to know this love fully. Because it is this love that is true nourishment. This is where real life begins and ends and all the in-betweens.
Authentic selflessness comes to reside with you the day you become a parent. Especially with motherhood, the moment I realized new life was budding inside of me, was the moment I truly began to live for something more than myself. To even know something more than myself, and to love something more than myself. Insidiously, I began to recognize that the “me” I had been so completely and entirely invested in up until this point, had taken the back seat to this fragile, little, pink thing that embodied perfection. And just like “perfection” there are other words I soon realized the full-bodied meaning of: beauty, softness, love, pain, fear, work, rest, breath, to name a few. It’s as though suddenly life comes alive. Emotions take on a richer hue, a density, a weighted dimensionality.
For now, perhaps the greatest accomplishment in a day comes from the sound of two well-fed babies finally asleep and the backwards glance at a cleaned kitchen. And perhaps it will be eighteen plus years from now before I open that next “me” chapter in this life.
But, I do know the fringe of life and love. I know the fullness too, and I’ve felt it and continue to feel it to the edges, almost bursting. I always knew I wanted this, and there’s no way I could have ever known what “this” really was. I just knew I needed to feel life at its roots, at its inception. Ultimately, this has changed me into a woman I like more. This has changed me to my bones.
Image Credit: Joanna Tano