Friday, October 24, 2014
Learning To Love Today
I liked her a lot. I liked how her house smelled like rising dough or cinnamon buns, and how she always had a project she was working on. I liked how she knit her way through her kids' schooling every day and churned out homemade gifts at Christmas time. I liked her cloth diapers drying on the line and I liked her valiant attempts at gardening. Yeah, I liked her.
I liked being her. Being that Mom scratching a creative itch every day and turning her home into a place that showcased what mothering joy looked like. I miss her a lot, actually, these days.
For a while after Rosie, I figured it would take me time to find my groove. I picked things up here and there but it never really resurfaced - and the differences between the woman I had been and the woman I was now continued to grow. I wondered - am I lazy? Indifferent? What's my problem, anyway? I loved doing all those things. I loved being that Mom. What changed?
I vented my frustrations to one of my closest, life long friends. "I miss my creative energy. Where did it go?" She spoke truth right to me and I'm still turning it over and over in my mind, amazed at how much it impacts.
"You keep taking on new stages in life without leaving the old ones. It makes sense that you're being stretched in many different ways right now." She's so right, and it took me six babies to find the truth in it.
I always said adding another baby wasn't an issue. I get babies. I can do babies. Babies are, in many ways, no sweat. Yes there is crying and diapers and whatnot, but I've had enough by now that they don't really drastically change life that much. No, it's not the babies.
Meanwhile, my bigs are getting older. I'm not in complete control of our days as I once was, with all of my littles content to come right alongside Mama in all my plans and dreams. The bigger kids are stretching in their own ways, testing independence and requiring a lot of my attention, prayers, and energy.
This is not an anti-large family statement at all. It's simply fact. The Mama I was with four littles is not the Mama I am with a middleschooler, three elementary kids and two babies (with a third on the way.). I'm a different Mama now. Life is different now. Change just keeps on happening and you'd think by now I wouldn't be surprised. You'd think I'd be able to accept it with grace and find new ways to love where I am today.
I think it took acknowledging the change for me to truly see it, and to find ways to love my current space. Life is a lot more work now, but I love learning with my kids and watching them grow. I love seeing my big kids with the babies and how their friendships with one another are evolving over time. I'm loving partnering with my husband to make decisions about how we want to raise middle school and high school kids and watching us both stretch and grow beyond our comfort zone as we face our own experiences and upbringings and forge a new way, together.
It's glorious stuff, really. Maybe even more glorious than cinnamon rolls. But I'll never know because that's one thing I'll never give up.
Sometimes that Mama comes and visits for a day or so and it's always amazing to see her. But she's only a small part of who I am, growing and changing every day and year that goes by. I'm grateful for that piece of me and for the new ones I'm uncovering every day.