Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Heart Of A Mother

The air is sweet and warm.  A perfect summers day, the birds call back and forth, and the air moves with the electricity of life.  There is hope and promise and yet I feel the emptiness.  This swelling in my chest that these beautiful days of quiet are coming to an end.  School is around the corner, we're no longer in the five year gap.  Life is picking up the pace and my hands are losing their grip.  Already my son is desperate for the chase of friends, the screaming, laughing games that boys create in their wild imaginations.  I'm the mom standing by as he moves full throttle into his life.  It's what I want, my children to be their own person, to live well, and joyfully, but I already feel the cut of independence.  The sting of watching them grow.

So many things you wish on the other side, my if only's, and failures want to haunt me.  I dream sometimes of the two year old boy who broke me as a mother.  I see his angel face and wish so many times I'd been more gentle, more fun.  I wish that I could savor every moment of his baby chub and wild hair and ways.  I wish I could hear his raspy voice and feel the weight of his catapulting body.

I brush my hand over my six year old's coarse hair and breathe his dirty stench.  I love every moment he lies quiet in my arms.  I would treasure this more if I could.  I would capture every day in a bottle and stare into  these moments when I'm old.  They are the cherished fleeting breaths that come to quick to steal.

School will start and he will run to join the boys in play.  For a while he'll kiss me until he doesn't and I won't remember when it stopped, I'll just look back and wish I had it, a little longer.

Motherhood.  This journey of desperate joy and wrenching pain.  We judge ourselves so harshly, wishing always we could give more than we gave.  There is nothing perfect in our ways, but being there means more than we could know.  Loving is better than games, and child grace forgives even our deepest shame.

We will fail them, we will yell when we should be gentle, we'll scold when we should hug, we will push them aside for dirty dishes, and we'll miss so many moments.  Voices will come, as they do, to point out every place we wasted.  They will taunt and tear apart our fragile mother hearts.  Yes we could do better, but what really matters most?  When all are grown and the house is empty.  Despite our failures, our resignations, and our shame - did we love them deeply, did we kiss their dirty cheeks, did we fill their hearts with courage, and remind them of their skills.

Let go of all the whispers, stir up your mama heart.  You're doing great, no matter what.  You are the only mother that they have, the one that means more than any other.  While your counting out your mistakes, their watching the curve of your smiles, and folding the skin across your hands.

Yes, it is fleeting and yes it breaks us apart.  It is the life of a mother.  It is the courage that fills our hearts.

1 comment:

charis said...

very encouraging. thanks.