motherhood

Sunflowers, Summer Son

Our first sunflower of the season bloomed in the second week of July. I love sunflowers. They remind me of the summer I was pregnant with my son. That first time experiencing all the emotions that come with the final weeks of pregnancy, the excitement, the unknown, and the natural way your mind just starts preparing and anticipating for a very real labor of love.

39 or so weeks with our boy late July 2020!

I ate my share of strawberries summer 2020, grew sunflowers for the very first time, took pictures under the sunflower’s giant shower head, passed the time watching makeup videos on YouTube (I know, it doesn’t seem like I would enjoy those, but I do!), took walks, bounced on the ole pregnancy ball, picked zinnias in early labor, and eventually, after a loooong labor and a laughter-filled delivery, I brought my firstborn son home to sunflowers.

Summer used to be so hard.

August especially.

Then God gave me my son born in the summer in August. And sunflowers made up the backdrop.

2 weeks or so postpartum with our long-awaited miracle boy August 2020!

What a love story.❤ Naturally, the ground squirrles ravaged those sunflowers soon after. They bent low and looked a bit like mayhem, but sunflowers remain such a celebration of summertime and a reminder of the beautiful summer I experienced. . .and right in the midst of 2020 when the world and everyone felt as though we were falling apart at the seams.

We still deal with that fallout today, but 2020 was not only anger, confusion, angst, and scares. It was sunflowers, and babies, and laughter, and hospital rooms bursting with new life, and moms rocking their babies to sleep, and men learning how to be dads. And loving it.

In 2021 when I was pregnant with my daughter, I wrote a poem that seems fitting to share in this post. We can live so scared of the times and we can be fearful for our children, but neither is how God wants us to go about birth, or parenthood, or birthdays, or life spent here. . .in this broken world.


BIRTH IN TIMES LIKE THESE

They said it would be
too scary to bring
a baby
into this kind of
world.

As if someone’s birthday 
shouldn’t happen
because we think only
in nightmares.

As if the weight
of our worry
is their reality
forever.

As if we are the
pirates
of all peace
and goodness.

As if God ran out
of His beauty
and power
and kindness
and love
the moment
we grew up
to give birth to the children
we wouldn’t even have
without
the hand of God.

Maybe it would be scary
if it was me
who brought this baby
instead of God
who brought this baby
to me.

but it’s just me
in an invitation 
to hold my baby and see
so many good things
happen
after naively believing
only nightmares
come true.

-S.V.F


Summer sun in the sky and summer son beneath sunflowers. My arms are open wide to life earthside. I will celebrate all that is good and lovely with thanks to God the Most High. My stakes are in the ground.

I am not afraid.

Here but heavenward.

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