I watch her hold them, my niece and my nephew, in the turquoise twilight at the ball field. There is such serenity in this, the action of mothering, the cuddling and the skin and the stroking. How quickly those little fingers that were constantly entwined in your hands or your hair are bigger, browner, and busier!
Life's seasons are achingly brief. The whole of my children's infancy and toddlerhood is now a thing of the past. Only one seeks out my hand for comfort now, only one must have skin-to-skin time every single day. There is no changing table in my bathroom anymore. The kids fall asleep in their own beds. A small, unfolding miracle in the everyday here at the yellow farmhouse.
I think about how quickly it passes as I interview for jobs, the next step of the slow process of separation that begins when they're six months old and will probably still be evolving when they marry. I wonder if this was Eve's pain in childbearing - was it the groans of the physical labor to birth a baby only? Or did it encompass this birthing of beings into the world? The very individualism I cherish in my children also cuts to the quick as they become independent and different from me. In the cocoon of the nursing days, it felt like we were connected viscerally somehow, the nursing schedules, and the cat napping with baby on my chest, the co-sleeping and the feeding from my own breast. We breathed the same air, tinged with the sweetness that is baby breath and hair. Now there is more air between us and the children often smell like soil and grass, raindrops and wind. They come to me and we embrace, and there is this differentness about them, we are two others bowing towards each other but never quite connecting as we did in those earlier days.
|Prompt "Identity" and "motherhood" from Lisa-Jo today|