Today has been an abundant day.
A journey through an atlas of emotions, and now that the sun is gone, my heart is stretched.
It is Sunday – Mother’s Day – and it began in failure as my desire to worship together with my children at church was outweighed by the slowness of the morning in the aftermath of a restless night. A close family member has been in labour, pushing through the gruelling work of bringing a life into the world, and the delivery is not progressing as planned. My phone lit up through the night and by long-awaited morning, healthy but exhausted Mom and Babe are safe. Relief and thanksgiving and joy have pushed away shadows of the night.
JB is travelling for work, and I am single-parenting this week, a task which has become less frequent but no less daunting in recent years. There are no more diapers, but the emotional shepherding of the boys has increased (and so have their appetites). We head to the park after lunch for some fresh air. They seldom all-four agree on an activity, and today they are at an impasse over which park is the best, so I make the executive decision (it is Mother’s Day, and I am playing this card without hesitation) and away we go. Physical exertion and Spring air are a good remedy for all that ails a boy, and soon there is laughter and look at me and I don’t want to go yet… their flushed cheeks warm my heart and I feel like a Mom who is winning at Momhood.
I make a last-minute decision to venture into the city to meet our newest family member. The boys hate travelling but again, it’s Mother’s Day, and a bribe of milkshakes and burgers wins them over.
There is something about holding a newborn, a freshling, a fragile body breathing her first day of air, that wakens something in you. Even the boys felt it. (All but the littlest, who was too shy). All the way home they talked about her, how they looked forward to holding her again, and how precious she is. But then the oldest admitted to being afraid to have a child someday. Because there is so much pain and mess in the process. Because he mourns the little cousin he never got to hold. At 12 he is still very much a child, yet his insight into the harshness of life is growing quickly.
The Teacher, in Ecclesiastes, states that it is a gift to be able to enjoy one’s work and be occupied with gladness of heart. Would that this be a gift my children receive, and cherish. To not let heartbreak lessen beauty, or pain diminish joy.
By the time we arrived home, the ice cream had driven at least one child into a frenzy, and the lessons for the day were over. Bedtime routines ensued and soon the house was delightfully quiet. A hot cup of tea and time for reflection.
Not a perfect day. But perfect enough.