motherhood

Son, I Don’t Want to Forget

It was magic.

And poetry.

Everything lovely.

And though last year was wild in its change and surprises, this moment was so quiet and special.

We were in our newly renovated home. It was evening and nearing your bedtime. I was in your room, not even half-finished in decor, but I made sure to have your colorful pom-pom garland and handmade felt goat mobile hung as soon as possible.

You were playing with your dad’s old light saber while the garland hung above in your unfinished room awash with soft light. It was summertime, so we were nearing your first birthday having spent a year in a truly beautiful season. The moment felt encased in a sort of calm wonder. Magic. That was, in the moment, the only word for it. There was nothing monumental about this moment.

It just was.

You and me.

I a mother and you my son.

Reality was gold. And that was magic.

And there are so many things I don’t want to forget.

Like the way you say truck and rock and car.

How sometimes you say “Bye!” to our surroundings as we leave the house.

The way you scrunch your nose when you’re being silly and how quickly you run out of bed to grab a book or a toy and rush back with urgency. I don’t say anything, but I do sneak in and grab the recycling truck from your bed after you’ve played and fallen asleep with your head against it.

I love when you say Mommy. Drawing out the first syllable. Or when you say “Ba-bye Daddy, Ba-bye Daddy truck.” I love how much you love to cook with your play food and dishes. Your sound effects. How determined you are. All the times you want to sit close to me or force-feed me your snack. And how you yell-sing during church worship.

I’m a fan of how you say “cook” for cracker and that you put your hand flat over your food and say “hot! hot!” to get out of eating it. (At least that’s my guess and mothers are good at guessing.)

You make the color blue alive with laughter and excitement and life. I think you’ve made your mother’s blue eyes brighter too.

I’m having the time of my life with you. I think I’ll be saying that forever. Getting old and gray has never looked better. A lifetime of being your mother. I treasure every moment.

You are music, son.

I love getting to know you.

I just love you.

Let’s go play now.

-Mom

infertility

When a Lot *Doesn’t* Happen in a Year

Haven’t we all said it? Or hoped it? Or desperately wished it to be so? “Well, a lot can happen in a year!”

But what if it doesn’t? Or doesn’t feel like it does? How do we watch friends and family go by without us? Survive another night feeling left behind or afraid of being left behind?

What happens when 2023 comes and it isn’t “our year” and we just look at a trail of days that seemingly led us nowhere. Here we go into more days that are just days where nothing happens, but people cheer from the sidelines with rings on fingers and babies on hips shouting, “A lot can change in a year! It did for me!”

But I want you to know you don’t have to afraid or intimidated by this phrase. It’s true that 2023 may come without fireworks or fanfare or what you hoped for.

So let me tell you about 2017.

I don’t remember much of it, really. It was early stages infertility. It was heartbreaking in more ways than one. I had a lot of hard things to say and admit. I don’t remember much life that happened that year. I remember it like death and loss and wounds just pouring out.

But then 2018 came.

And it continued being hard and escalated in April. Then April became a turning point and Mother’s Day in May found us rolling out of Grocery Outlet with a cart full of flowers. Ever so gently, I woke up to life. I sensed I missed so much in 2017, but I didn’t really feel regret for it. I just felt the gift of waking up to the fullness of life around me. I was thankful I wasn’t missing it. I don’t know if I could have felt 2017 any differently if I tried. I’m so human, and I was in the very vulnerable stages of finding life cut out so differently and myself scraped against those ridges. I had very real, distressing emotions and questions I needed to bring to God.

It was a time where the phrase, “A lot can happen in a year!” didn’t quite fit. . .and yet 2017 was woven into the fabric of a story where a lot did happen. A lot of good. A lot of healing. A lot of growth and joy, happiness and light-heartedness, miracles and spring and life!

It could be that a lot won’t happen or change this year, and you don’t have to be afraid of this or frustrated by this phrase which can be oblivious and short-sighted. So what if it is! And so what if people have the the “first comes loves then comes marriage then comes a baby in a baby carriage.” That’s not a bad thing and should be celebrated.

But you are not as lost as you think. Your year won’t be wasted. You may not remember much of it, but with God, it will be woven into the fabric of a story where a lot does happen. A lot of good. A lot of healing. A lot growth and joy, happiness and light-heartedness, miracles and spring and life! If you’re not celebrating at the start of 2023 (or this year for that matter!), I get it. I’ve been there. Will be there again.

Keep turning to God. “Those who look to him are radiant and their faces shall never be ashamed.” (Psalm 34:5). The year itself may feel like nothing. You may forget it. You may feel disappointed by the whole of it. But it won’t be lost. It won’t be wasted. It won’t be the hopelessness you may feel it is right now. There’s no rush and the pressure isn’t on you or me to make things good and okay. God will do the impossible. He will wrap our years into His arms and from His hand we will receive good. And in His presence we will be comforted and emboldened to live. We will be safe to grieve and to rejoice.

A lot may *not* happen or change this year.

So what if it doesn’t?

God isn’t bound by the days on a calendar. His stories last long and rich and eternal.

Breathe.

Pressure is off.


It Wasn’t All Flowers, poem

Why I Wrote Hope Gives a Eulogy

Your Body Is Strong (To the Women Facing Infertility)

Tomorrow in our Garden Lullaby series I’m sharing thoughts + the best photo from 2018. It correlates with this post and my “waking up to life.” Don’t miss it!

 

Life at the Blue House

I’m Having Another Baby (a very unpoetic piece)

Summer found me excited for my son’s first birthay, refreshing the ole podcast, and dusting off my email list which has been off it’s game since late 2019! I sent two whole emails this summer with the intent to send more and then. . .

I found out I was pregnant again.

What?!

As for the podcast, I was finding my way and then had trouble recording a poem and giving the backstory so I pushed that episode to the backburner in frustration. A handful of weeks later, BOOM.

Pregnant.

What?!

So here I am. The podcast has been a ghost town and, uh, emails are going unwritten and unsent. And that’s just the stage of life I’m in. I picked up the podcast and email again because it was a good time to do so, which then changed much faster than I anticipated. Abrupt and wonderful! God always surprises us. I’m learning many things these days, but I’ll lay out a couple for you.

I’m clumsily discovering my creative limitations.

I am in a season that keeps changing. Pregnant. Postpartum. Balance again. Pregnant. I’m not good at these fast changes. I spent 3+ years in what often felt like slow motion. Quiet. Rhythymic. Healing. Purposeful. Very, very slow. And not always the “lovely” slow. The painful kind. Where time keeps moving, but you feel you don’t. Friends keep getting pregnant. But you don’t. Having no “end” in sight. You get it.

But now, I’m in this rush of movement and it really is beautiful. And I’m not lying when I say it can also be so magical. Of course, tiring. Of course, imperfect. Blah. Blah. Blah. But motherhood is so good. While I’m here in this fast-paced, body changing, life changing, going through 3-6 month clothes, then 6-9, then 12-18, they heyay, that’s TWO lines again(!!), my ability to create content and craft poetry dwindles. It doens’t dissappear, certainly. But it does change. And I’m learning what those changes are and how to be intentional with whatever those changes are. My drive and hard work remains in tact, but my hands can do less right now. I’m okay with that! Just figuring out what “that” means.

I’m scared and learning to trust God with all that’s good and beautiful in my life.

Which is a lot right now. When I stumbled through infertility, I learned to grieve with God and to trust Him with my pain.Now the feelings are so similar, but I’m learning to trust God with all these happy, good gifts.

It’s overwhelming.

Admittedly, I’ve spent far too much time fearing the “Great Fall Apart.” It’s no way to live and it’s also not right. God has given these good gifts to me and they will always be good gifts from God to me no matter the pain or brokeness of the world that may (will) touch these good things. What am I going to do? Shrivel up like a raisin and play dead while God shows me His great love in the good times just as He did in the bad times?! Yikes. I’m learning to trust God with my whole life. And the thing is my whole life keeps changing, so I have to keep surrendering. I’m in the process of living out what it means to rest in God during the good times. And it’s a learning curve. Just like it was in the bad times.

Funny how that works.

God is so kind, though. Some favorite Scripture of mine is Psalm 103:13-14, As a father shows compassion to His children, so does the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; he remembers we are dust.

I’m sure there was a much more poetic way to write a second pregnancy announcement post, but this is where I’m at! I mean, I know I could get some flowery language to convey the miracle of our second child and that will come in time, but this is me currently. Also, S I C K. In the first trimester+, I wear the pregnancy glow like Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Oh and one more thing. . .with October comes a very special poetry series. I know, I know. I just had this whole spiel on creative limitations and yady-yady-ya, but this is one thing I’ve had space for and am mindful of adjusting expectations and boundaries as I need to. I’ll post more details by Friday morning!!

So there ya go. That’s life these days. It’s a wild ride. I could be trendy and say, “And I’m here for it.” But ya know, sometimes I need a minute(!!!).

DON’T WE ALL!

But God is here with us even when being “here for it” seems overwhelming and/or scary.

Thank you, God. We rest in You!