Friday, January 23, 2015

The Now of Motherhood

Time is slipping away from me.

As January dawned, I found myself suddenly halfway through this pregnancy.

Just five more months before my life gets really interesting/challenging/beautiful/sleep-deprived, I thought to myself.  What do you want to accomplish in that time?

I meant it as a challenge to myself.  A professional challenge, and a creativity challenge.  How many words could I put to paper in five months?  How many paintings could I finish?  How many new followers/sales/[insert-your-favorite-measure-of-success-here] could I accrue?

And so I began.  I began to work on my novel again, to step it up in the art department, and --

I quickly found myself running out of gas
and caring.

The fire that normally burns within me, begging to roar and light and flare, wasn't.

Because it was busy.
Making a person.

I looked back at my New Year's question to to myself.  What do you want to accomplish in this time, Beth -- in these last months of your last pregnancy?

And the answer that rose from my soul was so unexpected, yet dripped with truth.

I want to enjoy the remains of this pregnancy as much as possible.  To sink into this sacred time.

I want to soak up the last months with my oldest son as the only child in the house, because (if all goes well) it'll never be just him and me, and him and me and his daddy, ever again. I want to build an excessive amount of Lego towers, and play-dough burritos, and go on an extravagant amount of adventures.

I want to rub my belly, and wander through books, and nibble dark chocolate, and wrap myself in soft blankets.

I want to visit with my kindred, to paint when I feel like it, to journal and meditate as I can, not as I "should." 

I want to play.  I want to stretch this aching body.  I want to stare into the widening sky, at the circling of the moon.  I want to lay on the earth and feel her move beneath my bones.

I want to be here, in this time, fully present.

Most of all, I want to not trade this time, this this-is-the-only-chance-I-get time to meet goals whose time will come, and come without such a steep price tag.

It feels strange, to still be learning (or relearning, or learning again for the first time) this after the steep educational curve of stillbirth.  Wasn't that enough?  And yet, I remain human, and sometimes it's hard to soften into my own motherheart, when so many of my beautiful friends are putting themselves out there, creating amazing things with great courage.  I want to be out there, too. 

But not at the price of right here, and right now.  Not at the price of missing this blue-eyed boy grinning at me with the universe inside him, or that baby nudging me from the inside. 

And so, I smooth my palms across my swelling abdomen, and fold my two year old into my arms when he'll let me, and trace fingertips over my husband's grizzled face, and know that this is more than enough.


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"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King