Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This helpless love...

I remember being so sad when the soft, downy hair of Caleb's and Tavish's newborn ears was one day gone. I remember running my fingertip along the suddenly smooth and hairless curve of their month-old, pink ears, realizing that motherhood is a series of endings. I wanted to stop time, curl up and never have to wake from the blessed newborn symbiosis of their body, my whole world; my body, theirs. Who ever wants to wake from such a love?

But who would want to stop their child from growing more fully into his glorious self, to stop their child from running more and more deeply into the lush forest of her dreams and destinies? No one, of course. And so I must surrender to the bittersweet paradoxes of motherhood: the wider I open the doors of my heart (wide, to that place I fear the hinges will bust), the closer we grow in love; the looser my grip on them and on life, the more securely we attach to one another; the more grounded and rooted our home, the further they will one day fly from it.

"They will go. They will go," Time whispers to me every day. I know this. I know every effortless beauty, and every exhausting challenge ends. It all ends. Too quickly, it ends. And yet, all I can do is fall helplessly in love with every freckle, every chubby cheek, every dimpled hand, every fragile, turning page of their lives, knowing the whole time that what I love cannot possibly last.

Oh, this helpless love. It can break a girl's heart. But what greater thing are we made for than this, this helpless love?