When I first became a mother, and then as my littles grew, I remember how surprised I was at how much stuff I needed to lug around—changes of clothes, diapers, healthy snacks. I was so used to the carefreeness of car keys, lip balm and a credit card. Who knew a tiny person needed so much stuff! My children are older now and no longer need diapers and a change of clothes, but I still find myself carrying things for them. My purses are often filled with snacks, books and an extra layer of clothes, just in case the weather changes.
My precious little boys not so little now. My sons are changing and growing rapidly, and the other day we were at a birthday party for one of their friends who was turning 10. As I sat with the grown-ups speaking about education, growing food and the new laws regarding immunizations, both my boys brought me their jackets to keep safe.
As I tucked the jackets into my big bag—which also held my daughter’s new doll she had just received for her birthday—I had this sudden sense of wow. One day they will not need me this way—me as the holder, the safe place, will come to an end.
And in this moment, I melted—because suddenly this sometimes-heavy-weighted job of mothering felt ONLY sacred, so precious, and important. Being a safety zone for them felt like a deep honor. My physical body and heart have represented HOME to them. What a privilege that has been for me! All the times I felt weighted down by the task—like when my arms ached carrying a weary child and bags of stuff to the park. Or the late nights parenting my children through fevers, stomach flus and nightmares, moving through the intimate dance of mother and child. In this moment, all the weary bits just fell way.
I know it's because I miss my kids as little ones. I know it is because I miss who I was too. I am grateful for this awareness. I'm glad to see this sweetness. I will tuck it into my heart for the days I feel unappreciated and weary—because those days will come.
If you feel weary today
I send you a prayer—
May we all see the beauty in front of us
All around us.