Snippets: Motherhood Moments Not to Forget

Motherhood is rarely ordinary.  Before I had kids, I think I really believed it would be rather ordinary;  filled with routine tasks and predictable events and simple solutions.   It wasn’t that I believed it would be easy, but perhaps more…normal.

I can’t begin to list the number of times I pause during my day and night and mentally whisper “I can’t believe I’m doing/saying this”.   Sometimes the moments are irreverent and silly, sometimes they are gut-wrenching and difficult, and other times they are downright bizarre.   Here is a list of a few recent incidents that had me chuckling or sighing.  I capture them here, mostly for me.

  • Combing the mane and tail of a Barbie horse into buns – twice, as they kept falling out, at 9:00 pm – smack in the middle of trying to get the kids to bed – because Indigo just had to have it done (and asked so very sweetly).    And then I realize that often it’s these simple gestures that mean so much to children, the knowledge that they can rely on Mama to transform their dolls into something magical.
  • Explaining gingerly to Kaia that I am not comfortable with her attending a sleepover (of school friend’s I do not know) just yet.  And then being shocked when my answer didn’t phase her a bit and she said “No problem, I can just go to the party and not sleep over”.  She seemed to understand my reasoning and it hurt my heart to have to even discuss why we need to be smart and cautious about kids spending the night in another family’s home.
  • Noticing Kaia’s profile in the dimly lit room before bed as she reads a book.   She has transitioned, grown, and in that moment I could see her as a young woman.  My body filled with the warmth of pride and love and adoration for her, for her Becoming and Being.
  • Nestled so close to Julien at night that our his belly touches mine and I can feel every rise and fall of his breathing.  And we are one little unit again and I am being filled by his Aliveness.  And I reckon I am like a hybrid car being plugged in for the night; recharged by this exchange of energy and quiet love.

Julien is 8 months and I still haven’t figured out how to pause time

After four kids, you think I would have found a way to freeze-frame time so that I can actually enjoy a few inhalations and exhalations and take it all in.

jujue 7 months or soPerhaps that’s what a photograph was designed to do.   And so I have tons of those, imprinted digitally and stored on my computer in little icons that look like folders.   These folders fool me; make me think I’m archiving something that I will actually go back to print out, or press into a sticky-backed albums, or outsource to bind in a little memory book.  But the reality is the photos will lucky collect dust in those electronic folders, maybe to be stumbled upon as I put together a slideshow or at 2 am when the missing-of-them is simply too great.

13981_10152646717477604_2497519331201595474_nJulien is just over 8 months old and stuffing a granola bar wrapper in his mouth as I type.  He is suddenly this whole little person, enjoying short bouts of independence outside of my arms as he crawls and scoots around the house.  He crawls like his brother did, with one leg out in front like a crab.

He likes to eat and knows the sounds of a package being opened means some processed, preservative-laden treat (think Oreos and Tastycake).  But he also likes black beans and hummus and tiny bits of pancakes, fruit, pasta, cheese, and eggs. Mama’s milk is always on standby, day and night. zx  A little tooth on the bottom has just poked through a bit and I cried;  walked him in my arms over to Jason and said “Our very last gummy-smile baby…”

One of his favorite toys is a small, metal trash can with a foot pedal.  It rarely has garbage in it, so he likes to push it over, flip the lid up and down, and pat on it like a drum with his tiny hands.    If we chant “clap clap clap” or “shake shake shake” or “dance dance dance” he will wiggle and throw his arms in the air and do his own form of a sitting jig.   He also loves to dig things out of a basket or container and discover toys in that way.

He awakens between 6:30 – 7:00 every morning, which is too early for mama’s liking.  And so he jabbers a bit, rolls and crawls around the bed, and then Daddy usually ends up taking him for awhile.  Daddy claims that most mornings he says “Hi, Dada!!”.   When Kaia or Indigo awaken, one of them typically plays with him for a short time and it is the highlight of their morning.

splashHe hasn’t met a body of water that he doesn’t love to play and splash and float in;  my water baby.

Julien, my love, our Chunk, our Fudge, our Jujube and Jooje, my plumpest baby of them all, already in 12-18 month clothing and size four diapers.   He is the Little Prince of the household and is never without either constant attention or gazing upon the chaos of a continual circus.

The gift of a fourth baby is that you realize how fast time flies.  It is also the curse of a fourth baby.  In so many ways, Julien is my daily lesson in attached-unattachment.  The in-between of letting go and holding on.  That space right before you have to release a loved one you are hugging.  Or the space right before your arms encircle them.   Energy, tension, release, surrender, leaning-into, a hunk of burning love.

Julien, you somehow knew – in your primal and ancient wisdom – to join us at precisely the right time.   You season us with smiles, the kind that hurt our cheeks.  You restore and unwind and captivate and are all the light there ever is or will be.

I love you, like a boss.

sitting up