To Moms of Tiny Artists

Art in the Thick of It, Poem🎨💓

“I don’t make art anymore.”

But I watched her for a day.

November 2021 in the garden with my eldest, my firstborn, my boy!!

She smiled at the morning and then paved a way. She made room for their messes, imaginations soar. She helped them make sense of their huge world and her own such a blur.

She cheered for the funnest dreams. . .yes, the United States could use a queen! She pointed to leaves falling, can you hear the rustling? She filled up cups with water for stubby stems and weeds. She picks out mundane magic hidden inside of everything.

And when the magic ran all out. …her arms gathered up their growing pains. Her voice, “this is how a deep breath goes.” And her heart, “I’m here with you, and I love you very much.” Their eyes, “mom! our best nightlight, our knight in shining armor!” We are big and safe. We are strong and brave. We are loved and happy.”

Still she held back tears, sighed, “I don’t make art anymore.” But how can this be true?

She painted life by living, and like colors on a canvas, her art filled up her children. and greater still, where are the children standing next to her? Because all I really see are artists standing tall who just can’t wait to emulate
the wild art of living, of painting like their Mother.

-S.V.F.

a note // please do make some art if you can & enjoy those hobbies & pastimes but for the seasons and/or days which are all consuming & demanding DO NOT LOSE HEART! Tiny artists in your care!!💓

It Was You The Whole Time

It was you the whole time.

Before I knew I was pregnant. When two lines showed up even though that second one was faint. When I texted our midwife with the happy news even though it was early.

But see,

I’ve learned there’s no such thing as “early.”

Just you!

You the whole time.

And when you were smaller than you “should” have been, it was you fully there. You the whole time. Your strong heartbeat the best sound in your mother’s world.

You.

You.

You.

The whole time.

There was a night I thought I might be losing you. I was scared out of my mind. Desperate, “I WANT THIS BABY!”

And that baby was you.

You the whole time.

And praise God, you were well! Strong. And all of you there, here with me, the whole time.

Conception. Week 7. Week 13. Week 20. Week 35. Last of summer, all of fall and winter, early spring, 39 Weeks, 5 Days. . .

it was you the whole time.

And now I get to hold you in my arms, see your face, treasure every bigger-than-life smile, calm your cries, run my thumb gentle across your forehead. There is wonder in finally holding the reality of you after carrying you for so long. You who has been you the whole time. Since before I knew! Since before I saw. Before I heard. Before I felt. Before I held.

It’s just always been you.

You!

Growing.

Living.

Being.

Heidi.

The whole time.

You.

No such thing as early. Just wonderful, radiant, miraculous you.

You the whole time.

Hi there, I’m your mom.

And don’t you worry,

I’ve been here the whole time, too.

Mommy Is Human But Here (and other postpartum reflections)

Hey kids,

I’m crying in the kitchen, but I love you. And I still want you in my life!

Hey kids,

I want to enjoy mothering, but I feel like a machine.

Yes, I want to enjoy mothering, but I feel like a machine.

both kids near, postpartum April 2022

And I want to go outside with you, but I don’t know how to get us all there.

Hey kids,

You are gold, but the treasure of you feels like weight. . .breathtaking, chest-constricting. Mommy’s still learning how to hold you.

And I love that you’re in my life, but sometimes I can’t see the life inside my days. Don’t worry, mommy has Hope, is asking God for help. He always gives it.

Hey kids,

I want to play with you in the water, but mommy is still trying to get out of the deep end. And Mommy hasn’t forgotten how to play. It just takes time for water to be playful again.

And I’ll keep the music going. Mommy can’t wait to dance with you, but she’s healing. And that’s no waltz. But soon. She still remembers the steps.

Hey kids,

I love you.

And Mommy is human, but I’m here no matter what.

Yes!

I am here!

No matter how long it takes for me to laugh in the kitchen instead of cry. Or for the machinery to stop humming while we break free in the great outdoors beneath the sun. No matter how hard it is to hold the weight of gold, or notice the life of life, or come back to shore and splash in the water, and dance to the steps you’ve made up for me.

No matter what.

No matter how long.

I’m here.

I’m here.

I’m human. But I’m here.

And God is here with me.

So, we’re going to be okay.

And pretty soon,

we’re going to be great.

Hey kids,

I can’t wait.

Speaking of which. Did you feel that lovely garden breeze? Me too.

It won’t be long now.

All my love and forever here,

Mommy