Friday, June 8, 2007

A profound moment in motherhood

Since becoming a mother of twin girls a year and a half ago, I have realized that motherhood doesn’t come packaged in a cute little pink and brown striped diaper bag.
In fact, as a mother of twins, those cute bags are not even practical – when a diaper bag is really needed.
Many of my expectations have changed since my beautiful daughters were born.
Perhaps my biggest lesson learned is that the beauty of being a Mama can be ripped away in a matter of seconds. I’ve learned that an otherwise perfect day can shatter easily like a crystal wine glass bumped in a frenzy to fix a sippy cup of milk.
I’m aware of how precious moments in motherhood are, yet realize, too, that there are no promises of perfect days.
A Monday, for example, that seems like it should be a new start, a refreshing new week can easily turn into chaos by the middle of an early breakfast.
A day that on first glimpse offers lots of sunshine, mild temperatures and a perfect spring breeze, can easily become reeked with food throwing, temper tantrums and tears. And, those are the days when nothing a Mama does can cheer up her babies.
Such days call for something bigger, something more blissful.
With one last trick up my dirty, T-shirt sleeve, I sweep them up in my arms and carry all 45 pounds of them outside, still barefoot, still shaking from the stress. It’s hard to let go of the anger we hold toward ourselves, for not being able to make them happy, for the day not turning out as we planned. And it’s only 7:30 a.m.
Outside, as soon as my dry, cracked feet hit the cold, damp bricks of the patio, the tension – both theirs and mine – releases, and floats up toward the blue sky.
I sit with my feet dangling at the tall patio table. They play among the mulch.
I breathe deep, sucking in the fresh air as if those few breaths are my last.
They smile, giggle at the birds as they dive and dodge past our heads as if we are the worms they are seeking.
With a shudder, I feel something pass over me and it isn’t a bird.
I suddenly feel awake.
Not the kind of awake one feels as they climb out of bed 30 minutes early to two crying babies. Not the kind of awake one feels after a rushed warm shower. Not even the kind of awake a hot cup of coffee can offer.
This was the kind of awake I strive for each day, but easily overlook when times get hard.
I was awake.
I saw the sunshine filter through the lovely pink flowers of the Cherry Blossom tree. I saw the ruffled feathers of birds eating at the birdfeeder. I saw the dew sit atop the grass, the breeze toss the leaves about on the Lilac bushes, a slinky worm barely slip away from under the awkward step of one of my girls’ white walking shoes.
The longer I sat, the longer I watched, the more awake I became.
If our day had gone as normal, we might still be inside playing among bright red and yellow toys in a dimly lit playroom. We might be playing chase or stacking blocks. We might have read board books with pictures of birds and trees.
But that is not how this day started.
Instead, they cried. I nearly lost my temper.
And, in a rush to make us all feel better, we fell into the lap of Mother Nature, who held us close and stroked our foreheads. She brushed the hair back from our eyes so we could see the real pictures more clearly.
And we were in awe.
And awake.
That’s when I realized that motherhood doesn’t have to fit all neatly into some designer diaper bag that I can’t afford.
It doesn’t have to fit into anything. Nature, with her sweet singing birds, the soft breeze, and the warm rays of the sunshine, will protect us from everything scattering about.

This post is now apart of Scribbit's Write-Away Contest about learning.


Momma Bean said...

How lovely. Those are the best moments, aren't they? I find that some of my favorite moments are when they are running to me with hot tears in their eyes, looking for something to be fixed. Although they are in some form of distress, I can feel my purpose when I gather them into my arms and attempt to make everything better.

Shannon said...

What a beautiful post. Having twin boys the same age as yours, I too have had to let go of my control-freak need to have every moment planned out. Now, the meal times and nap times are planned but everything in between is lived moment by moment!

lesleysmeshly said...

What a beautifully written post. Having twins is the best, the hardest, the most rewarding thing I have ever experienced. I'm glad to read that it just gets better (and harder), but those precious moments make it all worth it.

Scribbit said...

I'm always amazed at moms who are enjoying twins. A friend of mine actually has triplets, then a single birth, then twins. All five years apart. Whenever my life gets hectic I think, "It could be busier" :)