One of the entries that disappeared on me over the past couple of weeks was Asa’s birthday post. I was so sad to have it vanish like that! So, I realize that we’re a good 3 weeks later, but it’s really never too late to celebrate one little boy’s trip around the sun…
This year has been so good. The biggest highlight, by far, was the addition of this soul into the world. Both Jeff and I heave satisfied sighs most nights after we put the kids to bed. We know this is good work. Lately my ears have perked to the reflections and assumptions made by some on the subject of raising/having kids. I sometimes hear people say things (not necessarily in reference to me) like "Oh, she’s totally lost herself in motherhood…" or "You’ve gotta make time for YOU, and remember who YOU are." Now I can totally relate to needing the elusive "Me Time". It’s often a bit more challenging now that I’m a mother. But I have to say, I can’t relate to needing some kind of a separate identity apart from my role with these kids. I mean, we all identify with our roles- I identify with being a friend, a woman, a part of my family, to my work and my passions, to my creativity, to my spirituality. However, I never hear people compartmentalizing these and separating them from "self" quite as much as I do when it comes to parenthood.
What’s so intriguing to me about this is that I have found so much of my "self" through parenthood. Being a mother challenges me. Being a mother helps me to identify and work on my shortcomings. Being a mother brings me to a place of acceptance and humility that I never experienced before. Being a mother makes me feel like I might explode with love. Tingly, raw, delicious love that makes me want to leap for joy- and yet it also magnifies my mortality and reminds me of the risk involved in loving this deeply. This having babies thing… it’s not joking around.
I am myself. But being mother to these kids has helped me to learn about loving the world in a way that I don’t even think I could without them. It’s like- every parent thinks their kid is the best, right? I usually see people roll their eyes and assume that every parent is wrong… But what if they are all right? What if they get, along with the birth of a beautiful child, the gift of knowing exactly how special they are. You know, that strange dichotomy that makes up the whole world. We are all simultaneously precious beyond belief and also nothing special…
I get to see my son, my sweet Asa James. I see how precious he is. How loved by the universe he is. I see his firsts. I got to feel him grow in my body, and push his way out. I see him bonding with his father, with his sister, with those around him. I see him working to communicate- to tell his story amidst all the noise. I am his loving witness.
It’s all a gift.