Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Capturing Motherhood

One of the hardest things for me as a mama is experiencing the time flying by. I just want to seize time, give it a good talking to, and make it stop.

And then, as each day comes, I am in awe of the new and exciting changes in emotional, physical, and lingual developments. It's a dynamic life we live in these early years of fostering love, creativity, & problem-solving. I learn over and over again that tomorrow has its joys, too.
 But now that I have a newborn on my chest again, I am given a clear reminder of how fleeting each day and month of these first few years really are. Wasn't it just yesterday that Ian was on my chest drifting off to sleep after a solid nursing, and not waking up to every sound in the room?

Now he goes to sleep by himself, behind a closed door, listening to music, after we've completed his bedtime routine. He's much more independent, interactive, and calculated. And it's wonderful in its own way.

Holding a newborn, listening to the purrs on my chest, feeling the occasional jerk of his reflexes, and smelling that sweet newborn smell is its own kind of wonderful & lovely.

 Since I know that time stops for no one, I didn't want more time to pass without a few pictures of me with this darling boy. Time gets away from us during this harried season of life.

Photos are the only way I know to stop time. I look back at photos from our road trip out west, our wedding, Ian's short life, and memories flood back to me. I cannot wait for the day that we have all of these blog post printed in books on the shelf.

With Christine coming for a few days, I knew I'd have someone who would be patient and take a bunch of photos, and not judge me for asking for just a few more. She willingly took some of a nice afternoon with me outside to snap them. Thank you, Christine! I am forever grateful.
This go-around, I am trying to be much more loving in my thoughts toward my body. It took 9 months to make Owen, and it will take months to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. And my body will never necessarily be the same again. And why should it be? It brought two miracles into this world. Shouldn't my heart and body be forever changed? My body made a human and now my body is capable of feeding that human from my own body for his first year of life. That's amazing. And that's worth celebrating.

I am forever changed for the better. These boys are daily teaching me lessons in love, forgiveness, weakness, and strength. Sacrifice and patience, grace and discipline. This life is challenging; it pushes me to my limits and then pushes me a little farther. I love this quote from Mother Teresa: "I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love." Love just expands.
 Owen's been such a sweet and wonderful little lad. He's cuddly and content to spend the days on my chest or in my arms. Baby-wearing is a blessed gift for getting things done and loving Ian well, by having my hands free and able to play with him, while snuggling Owen close.

In the evenings Owen normally has some gas and can be upset, but normally he immediately calms down as soon as the gas is relieved or he soils his diaper. Who can blame him? Other than that short period of the day, he's a very happy chap.

My heart literally burns when he's on my chest. I love this photo of him lying there. There's a warmth that emanates from my body and into him when he's on me. The bond between a mama and her child is one amazing thing! He just feels right when he's on my chest. He was with me for nine months in the womb, so it only makes sense that the two of us would have a need to be together.
Getting to stay at home with my children in these early years is the greatest privilege and I know each interaction is shaping their understanding of emotions, of language, and of the world. I know I have taken some moments and days for granted, but I desperately want to be intentional and present in this season and every season of motherhood.
 I LOVE THIS ONE. That sweet yawn.
"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."- Mother Teresa

This quote really struck a chord with me recently. I have found this to be true in motherhood and in every other area of my life, but especially in mothering my young children. The more love I pour in, the more love there is. And sometimes it really does feel painful, but it always acts as a salve to my own wounds and calms the tears and tensions around me.
What a gift. What a miracle.
And what complete and utter joy.
This fellow certainly loves to be held, and especially by his mama. I am so happy to indulge him. These days won't last forever. You'll find me wearing, rocking, and loving my baby.
Thank you, Jim, for supporting and encouraging me so well in this gig called motherhood. 
And thank you for the two little ones we get to parent together. 
I am so grateful to have these moments of time captured. To freeze these moments. These stills show far more to me than what meets the eye. My senses engage and my heart skips a few beats. For when the beds are empty and the rooms are quiet, I'll be able to recall the long nights, the squeals of delight, the calls of my name in the wee hours, the cries for milk, the scattering thunder of blocks across the living room, and the pitter patter of bare feet across the wood floors. I want these pictures to dredge up every memory of this busy, harried, and weathering season.

In the end, I want to remember hugging more, kissing bumps & bruises, saying "yes" more than "no," building towers, eating "Friday" eggs (what Ian calls fried eggs) in the morning, spending all afternoon outside or at the playground instead of doing laundry. I want to remember building with blocks or assisting through puzzles rather than emptying the dishwasher. I want to have stains on my clothes rather than stress over my appearance and having it "all together." Motherhood's messy, tedious, & busy, but even more so, it's full, dynamic, and beautiful.

These posts and pictures are my attempt at capturing these years and our lives so that I can look back years from now. Years ahead, in the future, when I am quietly sitting and drinking coffee that's actually warm and eggs that are fresh out of the pan, after taking a shower whenever I want. Life will be full then, too, but not as every minute seems to be right now. 

Right now, as I literally wait for my chance to get a shower. Instead, I sit with a sleeping babe in the carrier on my chest. I sit listening to him breath and I can't help but kiss the cheek that sticks out invitingly from under the Boba. Regular/spontaneous showers and warm, even hot, coffee can wait. Time and this sweet baby will just keep moving. 

Thank goodness for pictures.

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