Lately I’ve been thinking about moments. About the ordinary and extraordinary moments that make up our days. About the long days and the short weekends. About the ways we are connected with friends, family and even strangers.
I’ve been thinking about moments because I’m watching my children grow. I’m counting up our moments… the tummy aches, scraped knees, night-time coughing, arguing, stomping, mess making moments. How can we ask for more than to mother?
I remember holding Elliott for the first time and thinking, wow, I’ve found it. This is the thing I was made to do. Motherhood fit perfectly. Even in the midst of overwhelming postpartum anxiety I knew that I had landed the best job on earth.
I knew that this was the most amazing gift ever yet I was terrified. I didn’t fully understand what I was going through at the time. I washed my hands until they were raw, I didn’t want to take Elliott out in public and I was terrified that something terrible would happen to him. I didn’t even want to let friends and family hold him. I did… but I was afraid the entire time. When Elliott was a couple months old he contracted pertussis. Yes we vaccinated him. He still got it.
We ended up in the ER with a blue-faced infant and stayed there for some time. Something about those hours and the first serious illness with my precious baby helped me move out of postpartum anxiety and into a mom that was ready to fight. I saw firsthand the fragility of life and the strength needed to live fully.
Moms have to be strong and brave because we manage all of the moments. We manage the hard moments and teach our kids to manage them too. Because their moments, the extraordinary and ordinary, are coming. The moments when they make big choices and the moments when they fail. And what we model in our moments with them will determine how they handle their fears, failures and successes.
Life is really beautiful and life is really hard. We don’t know what waits around the corner. That is more evident to me every day. It scares me sometimes and I have to take a deep breath, a really deep breath, and remind myself to be brave. I want all the messy, sad, hard moments just as much as I want the happy ones. I remind my kids that the rain makes things grow. It’s not their favorite weather, it keeps us from playing outside and sometimes it’s cold and unpleasant… but it brings life. I grow, they grow and you grow when it rains.
I guess I just want to show them that I can make it through the rain and they can too.
And that rainbow after the rain? Promises. Joy. Faith. Extraordinary moments.