Friday, July 18, 2008

notes from the other side

I am shrinking.

Georgia's Mom, wise soul that she is, gave this advice when asked about having two babies close in age: "With each child, you find more of yourself to give." In a similar vein, Halle used to tell me that her children were teaching her about selflessness. I'm beginning to understand what they meant.

Time is the most valuable commodity in our home right now. I have less time to spend with each child individually, less time to spend with Brian, and almost no time to devote to anything outside of our little universe. But it's easier than I thought it would be. Not only am I more confident, but I am accustomed to being needed. I am learning how to give more of myself, understanding that this is only for a season. They will not always need me as much as they do now. And when they don't, I will wish they did, or so I am told. Some days that's easier to believe than others.

My body, too, has diminished. This has been more of a transition than I expected. For so long, I housed another person, and now I don't. There are no more flutters, no more internal hiccups. While I can't say I miss being pregnant, exactly, I do notice the absence of something extraordinary happening. To be pregnant is to participate in Creation, and even on my worst pregnant days (because we won't pretend I didn't have many, many bad pregnant days), the idea of another life growing inside of me never lost its significance. Now, my body is once again unremarkable. Calories are a matter of input and output, simple math, with no adjusting for the demands of pregnancy. It's a bittersweet reality.

My children seem to be growing at the same rate as I am shrinking. Silas, with his tiny, perfectly round face and lightening hair, is filling out his little outfits and becoming more aware every day. And Asher has graduated into a full-fledged toddler this week, completing the transition by learning to say, "no." He has no malice (yet) in it, though. It's just a statement of fact. "Asher, are you ready for bed?" "Mo," he'll say quietly, shaking his head. I can't help but smile.

This is what I know now that I didn't know a month ago: raising two babies is demanding and sweet in equal measure.

Thanks be to God.


Anonymous said...

i love the phrase "to be pregnant is to participate in Creation." beautiful.

Heather said...

What you said about being pregnant, it's true for me too. Even YEARS later. I didn't like being pregnant, most of the time, but I miss that feeling of a miracle working itself out inside of me. Sometimes, I feel phantom flutters and my heart stops for a minute.

LMilky said...

last night Nick and I were updating video footage onto the Mac and came across us building the cribs the night before I went into the hospital... It was shocking and sad. A) I was SO nose was flat, my eye brows like didn't exist and OH my feet B) at the end of the video I was talking to "Harper" and "Lily" while rubbing my pregnant belly and THAT made me tear up cause I missed my belly and feel cheated I didn't get to have it to term and also because now I know the faces of those two being inside of me.