Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Terribly Beautiful Night

Last night was a terrible night.

The kids were both congested all weekend, and by the time grown up bedtime rolled around they had each woken up once from coughing and snotty noses, and were generally whimpering and pathetic little beings.

That baby cry that lets you know they are still just so tired, but uncomfortable and 'Why? Why can't you make it stop, Mommy? I am just so sleepy and sad.'

I am a total pushover when it comes to sick babies. I can't stand being sick myself {and am generally pathetic when I am}, so something about my babies being sick just makes me want to coddle and snuggle them. My patience levels somehow always expand to fill me to the brim, and every time I wish I had the energy to sustain that kind of patience all the damn time.

So last night, by 12:30, I had a coughing, generally not feeling very well, so sad she couldn't sleep, two year old in my bed with me. I don't know who could have said, no to that sweet little flushed face as she reached out of her bed with a soft cry and a "I go to Mommy's room?" But it certainly was not me.

And as I laid there, cuddling that startlingly long little body (didn't she fit into the crook of my arm just yesterday?), of this fiercely independent child who has never been a huge fan of snuggles, with my chin resting on those slightly sleep dampened curls - my heart began to flutter.

She reached out to put her hand on top of the arm I had around her, with just enough grip to let me know she wanted me to stay, but just relaxed enough to convey the trust that she knew I wouldn't move a muscle. And then, she drifted off to sleep.

And my heart kept fluttering.

I now knew that it was one of those moments, I knew. A crystal clear one that strikes right into your soul and stays there.

It was a familiar sort of feeling, that fluttering, but different. Somehow, complimentary.

Yes, that was the word, I thought, as I drifted off to sleep, complimentary. Then I drifted still further, and I had a strikingly clear vision of a lock and key.

For many years, I knew, I was the key. I was the key in my own relationship with my mother. I would have never described it that way when I was the key, of course. I knew that we had a complimentary love for one another. That we were pieces of a puzzle - as all mothers and children know.

You don't know, or care how or why, it just...is.

But now, now I have a key of my own. Two keys, in fact. Two little winged keys flying around my heart.

Because these little souls that call me their mother - they unlock an appreciation and awareness of the entirety of that relationship - the absolute wholeness of the love between a mother and her child.

Those two little keys of mine, they keep flitting about, unlocking little crevices of my heart and soul that I didn't even know existed.

There in their lowest of moments - the sick baby needing a snuggle, in their most normal and mundane of moments - the little boy who locks his legs in just the right way around my hips as I pick him up because he knows his spot, and in their most exhilarating, giggle filled highs of moments - their need for me finds these little nooks and crannies of reserve love. They click and pop those little gates open and those reserves rush out to fill my heart with as much love as it can hold. More, even.

And it never stops.


All that undiscovered territory, yet to open.
All that love, still to give.
All this heart, ready to burst.


All because of a little cough and bedtime snuggle.


Last night was a terrible night, but a beautiful one too.


Evelyn Rae is two years old, Liam is nine months old

...and this journey of motherhood is a strange one indeed.

*I wrote this post a few days ago, but it didn't publish for some reason. Strangely enough last night was the first night in a very long while that Liam slept through the night.*

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