Being a mother is amazing- and incomparable to anything else. A window is opened to your heart and your soul is infused with sunshine. Everything good in life is amplified by being a mother. Of course, so is heartache and worry. You simply FEEL, All. THE. TIME.
It's an amazing journey. It seems only yesterday I was constantly carrying a baby on my hip, nursing and changing diapers, tucking little ones in bed, reading stories and settling disputes. Dishes and laundry were always behind, meals being prepared endlessly. There were tears to dry, noses to wipe, boo boos to kiss, soft hair to stroke, stories to hear. The busyness was real but the BEAUTY of it all-encompassing.
They don't stay, those babies and children. How many countless hours did I rock and cuddle my sweet children? How many meals did I prepare, baths did I draw, lessons did I teach, cheeks did I smooch?
Holding wriggling, towel wrapped toddlers fresh from a bath, rubbing their hair dry then folding back the towel to see shining eyes smiling at me.
Listening to their exciting stories, eyes shining, hands gesturing...me inserting helpful words when they can't get them out quickly enough and their exasperation is high. Huge grins when they know that I get them, and understand exactly what they're trying to say.
Kind, precious moments when my young children have gathered together to do something extra nice for me. Purchasing me a pretty tea towel with their own money so I can have one to hang from the bar on the kitchen stove like Mrs. So-and-so has. (Because ours were all rather shabby.)
Taking my hand and guiding me into the living room where they've prepared a mound of pillows with a hole in the center....for me to lay on face down, space for my pregnant belly in the center....for my massage. The kids going to work like a NASCAR pit crew, each taking an arm or foot or back and getting to work.
The dancing, singing, playing.....arguing, poking, teasing....was all simply grand! There were times I wanted to pull my hair out to be sure, but that alive energy; that busy, bustling beauty of life was vibrating around me 24-7. There's nothing like it.
Babies Don't Keep
Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
“There is always something to miss, no matter where you are."
I miss my children being little, miss former homes where we made memories, miss loved ones who've passed on, miss my youth.
It's easy to reminisce and think life was more precious elsewhere....back in some particular time or place of life where in hindsight, it all looks perfectly rosy.
My youngest daughter recently spoke of the song 'The House That Built Me' and how it made her sad and missing our old home.
I pointed out that her oldest brothers and sister would think of and miss a different home, the one they spent more time at in their youth.
I personally would think of several of my own childhood homes. It's all about perspective, I told her.
And darn it, life is not a song. Life is a symphony of songs, being composed and altered day by day.
I read an article about George Strait, the country singer, and how he and his wife had lost their young and only daughter years ago. How their marriage and family stayed strong. How he stayed completely true to his wife while being in the music industry. He said he always remembered that life was not a country song and it kept him grounded.
Marriage and family can't be pinned down that way and don't fit in tidy little compartments.
Certain lyrics or tunes can capture a moment, make us feel regret/pain/longing/contentment/joy...but they are only moments in a life.
Life is never perfect and home is where your family is. The imperfectness of life is what makes it so lovely.