I felt them coming. The tears. The ones that had been threatening to flow from my eyes all morning as we prepared to go to the church we were visiting.
It was there, in the corner of the nursery and surrounded by strangers and small children, that the dam broke. The more I fought it, the more the tears streamed down my face.
Honestly, in the moment I couldn’t tell you why I was crying. But now, weeks later, I’ve realized those tears were a declaration.
“It’s not meant to be this way.”
I transitioned into motherhood just months after experiencing one of the most painful conflicts I’ve ever walked through. Then a few months after our son was born, we entered a never-ending pandemic. I don’t think about it much, but it really has stolen a lot. It was a thief of my son entering the nursery at a less anxious age, learning how to sit still at restaurants, and attending more play dates.…
My view from the couch was perfect. Ahead of me were one set of big arms and one set of little arms, clapping and shaking high above the heads that belonged to each body. Legs jumped and shuffled to the music and an unbreakable smile spread across my face. Joy.
The arms and legs in question belonged to my dear husband and our sweet baby boy. Only, he’s not so much a baby now. He’s two, and those once chubby legs and arms have lengthened and grown skinnier, reminding me that time flies and everything changes.
Me? Well, my extremities are the same, but my belly is rounding out again, telling to the world around me a story of creation and life and love. In just five short months (Lord willing), another baby will emerge from my cramped and dark womb and enter a bright and big world. Obviously, this is exciting news.…
The scent of fresh honeysuckle filled my nose, touching my soul with joy and thankfulness. Kneeling next to my son, I said, “Hey Theo, can you smell the honeysuckle?” All at once, he bent his knees, stuck his nose to the white petals, and sniffed as hard as he could. Tears glistened in my eyes and I kissed his nearly bald head and said, “I love you, Bug.” Giggling, he ran across the yard to keep exploring.
I didn’t desire nor did I expect an “I love you mama” in return—he has few words to offer right now and the ones in that phrase aren’t among them. Still, I probably declare that I love him at least twenty times each day. My love for that boy is deep and abiding. I can’t help but want him to know how very loved he is.
But I know there’s a greater love than a parent’s love for their child.…
“Dees,” said the sweetest little voice as our son pointed out the “doggie” in his bedtime story. It’s my new favorite thing. That and a million other things he says and does. Like how he follows our amens with an adorable “anay.” Or how he reaches over to play with my sleeve or hold my finger. Even how, to show his affection for his daddy and I, he grabs our legs and goes in for a big bite. Motherhood is sweet.
Before my husband and I began our journey into parenthood, I was thoroughly prepared for the pain and frustration that being a mom would bring. Mommy bloggers on social media preached to me that motherhood was a sort of death. Not the holy, Christlike death to our self-service that it truly is, but a death of all things easy and joyful.
They made me believe I’d hate my days at home with a little one.…
In a couple of months, I’ll lay my son down in his crib as an infant and he’ll awake as a toddler. I wasn’t prepared for my heart to physically ache at the thought of my baby no longer being a baby. People coached me to be thankful for this season because it’s gone too fast. But rather than wishing for it to end, I dread the thought of losing it. In my seeking to savor, I fear I’ve begun to cling too tightly to the here and now.
Maybe it’s because I missed this with my other babies. I know it’s partially that I fear I’ll never experience it again. I want to freeze time, take it all in, but life is moving too fast. While many around me have arms stretched toward what’s next, I’ve got a death grip on this season, grieved at the thought of closing its chapter.…
I thought about the long list of to do’s written in the margins of my planner—the dishes that needed doing and clothes that needed folding. The toilets were dirty and, oh yeah, I hadn’t read the chapters for Bible study yet.
These tasks flashed into my mind one by one as I wrestled my baby boy into a soothing position in an effort to calm him.
Lately, heading into nap time is like preparing for war. I know he’ll scream, arching his back in protest. So I prepare my mind and heart for action. I know there will come a time where he finally relaxes and gives up the fight, but it’s easy to get flustered and impatient when a baby is screaming in your face.
I remember in the early days of his little life how quickly anger and anxiety would erupt from within as I held my helpless baby in my arms, feeling just as helpless myself.…