My mother still speaks fondly of her time with me and my brother when we were children. She was a young mother, having my brother when she was only 18 and then having me a few years later, at 21. She worked hard to put herself through college, and though we had very little, I remember my childhood as very happy and rich. As children, we do not remember so much what we had or did not have, but we will remember the spirit of our mother, we will remember the feeling of her happiness, the feeling of her ability to love us and to be joyful.
My mother often recalls for me the sacred time she had before my brother and I awoke. This was her only time alone, and in the still, precious quiet, she would make herself coffee and prepare for her day. These moments, as we know, are a mother’s church.
I don’t quite have that church time yet, but I am getting close. As a co-sleeping mama, my biorhythms are still tied inextricably to those of the little one in my bed. As soon as I stir, she stirs; when she stirs, I wake. Truth be told, I have not yet tired of morning snuggle time and I value every moment I sleep in the mornings with babe in arms.
Sometimes I dream of the day I will get up before my kids and do my morning Sadhana, or drink hot tea steeped in the stillness of dawn. For now, I surrender to what is: sleeping in, wild mornings with my children, the beautiful mess of motherhood.
Surrender is my mantra through motherhood (one of them, anyway). I could wish for something different, but then I would be missing out on the gifts I have now—the soft, sweet sleeping girl in my arms. To wish for what we don’t have is a tragic way to overlook the shimmering treasures already in our palms.
This time when our children are small is so short, so precious. So many women say this and it is because it is so true. It is a gift, really, to hold these small bodies so close to our hearts; to smell these sweet heads and to kiss these round cheeks. In a moment, it will only be a memory; and in a moment more, it will be a distant memory, flickering behind wild footsteps running out the door. We do not need to wish that this time is different because one day it will be.
Though we might have days that seem burdened with dishes and tears, heavy children and high volume voices, still, we can seek the silver lining. When we surrender, we will feel the river run through us and we will rejoice: it is this that we live for; it is this that we love.