The Magnitude of Just Being

3 months ago I became mother to a beautiful 5 month old baby boy.  The magnitude of this has been overwhelming some days – suddenly my life is not my own.

It was an adjustment when I got married.

This is different.

Motherhood feels different.

There are many treasured moments that belong to my boy and I, or to my guy, my boy and I and these are ours alone.

My not working for a while, at least for as long as he was alive and not with us, feels like a public thing.  It feels a like I have had to redefine where I fit in my community and social spaces.  It feels like a gift and yet one which I have had to intentionally articulate.

 

Recently I was sitting watching my little man and suddenly it struck me that his biggest joy for the afternoon was my just sitting and being with him.

He gurgles, he plays, he explores, he cuddles and he checks in in between as his agility and mobility is increasing (way too fast some days for me!).

Yet the smile and the giggle that lights up his face when he knows that I have seen him, or am simply being with him overwhelmed me that afternoon.

just be

 

Just being  was enough for him.

No, I didn’t sit there passively, we engaged and giggled and smiled and made sure that he explored in a way the allowed for discovery with reduced risk of harm.

Yes, we feed, clothe and ensure he is cared for.

His joy though came from just being.

This forced me to question how much value I place on just being.

 

Just being with God

Just being with my guy.

Just being with my son.

Just being in community with my people.

Just being.

 

Is there enough value for me in just being present with him to transition joyfully into motherhood, with the lack of sleep some nights and my world suddenly seeming to be so  much smaller?

Is there enough value for me in being his mom or do I have to own that until this point much of my own validation came from being a part of bigger conversations, being a part of a work space where I knew people’s lives were impacted practically through research and skills and being with them?

My word for 2016 was to JUST BE.

I am learning how hard this can be some days.

Yet, after an afternoon in which my almost 9 month old explorer took a horrible tumble and there was snot, blood and tears (some his and some mine after); on top of his second ever illness since us being together, I had to concede that actually this mattered more to me than I had been able to fully own:

This just being his mom.

Just being his mom is far bigger, far more joyful, far more overwhelming and far more fulfilling than I could have anticipated.

I said no to further post grad studies to explore a relationship with the man who became my husband.

I am saying yes to just being my son’s mom. Who knows where that path is going to lead us?

Just being.

 

 

 

 

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Was he worth the wait?

So much excitement about a wedding & so many people sending love, wishes and hopes for us!  People love to celebrate love.  I know this because my blog got more hits and views and links on the WEDDINGS, DETAILS and WHAT I AM REALLY EXCITED ABOUT than it did for any SOCIAL JUSTICE writing.  I also know this because I am closer to 40 than I am to 30 and there have been so many different reactions to the news that I am getting married. 

Reactions ranging from “he must be really special” *he is* to “ah, see, he was worth waiting for” and “Wasn’t he worth the wait?” I wouldn’t swop my Bear for anyone else.

 If I am going to be annoyed and driven crazy and love and loved, I want it to be with & by him rather than anyone else

Please re-read that before you carry on reading the next line – seriously –make sure you know that I mean it and I want to love and commit to loving him forever – on the good days, the mad days, the sad days and the deeply content days.

However to ask me if “Wasn’t he worth all the waiting?” in some ways is a trap of a question.  The way I understand it is this:

–          I wouldn’t want anyone else

–          I wouldn’t want the waiting time ever again

I shared this with a friend who waited a long time before their child was conceived – she had had the same responses from well -meaning well-wishers – “wasn’t your baby worth the wait?”  She wouldn’t swop that little person for anyone else BUT the heart-ache and grief of being single or child-less is something that neither she nor I ever want again regardless of the outcome.

Walking, talking and listening to friends who are still single – whether younger, my peers or older than me – I am mindful of the amazing gift I have been given in the man who chooses to love me – and still mindful of the chaos of the world as a single person:  of the assumptions made about the amazing men & women I know who love God, love people, are passionate about life and love and yet haven’t met their other.  Being in a relationship is hard at times; iron sharpens iron –we know this.  Being single at times was hard too.

The wait meant some odd choices of dates in perpetual hope; the wait meant that the inner part of me seeking companionship was lonely, not in solitude, in heartache and was sometimes judged when it was expressed for surely I had a life fulfilled – and I did:  I get to do work I love in a country I am passionate about on a continent that pulses a beat of challenges and craziness and creativity. It was hard not having someone to share that with.  Angry, fist raised, crying at God hard some days.

There are no guarantees about the wait just like there are no guarantees that life is necessarily easier in relationship.  I do know this.  I am grateful for a hope fulfilled in the longing for an “other” – especially for the other that I now have to do life with.  I am also grateful that the wait is over and there were moments of growth and hope and amazing adventure in it yes, but that’s not the same as the value of who I have in my life now.