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Elsewhere

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I love the time and in between

The calm inside me

In this space where I can breathe

I believe there is a distance I have wandered

To touch upon the years of reaching out and reaching in

Holding out and holding in

I believe this is heaven to no one else but me

And I’ll defend it as long as I can be

Left here to linger in silence

If I choose to

Would you try to understand

 

I like to sing.  I sing constantly, loudly, softly, intentionally, and without realizing it.  I sing to Mason, when we’re walking, when we’re dancing in the backyard, bouncy songs when he needs to laugh, and slow songs when he needs some soothing.  This is actually a Sarah MacLachlan song, but I originally heard it sung by Bethany Joy Lenz (Galeotti)… and sorry Sarah, but it remains my favorite version.  It’s Mason’s favorite song, I think.  Because within the first line or two, a grin spreads across his face, whether previously sad, sleepy or serious.

I have to say, that there are of course, periods of minutes or sometimes even hours, where things are not easy.  Where constant reserves of energy are being called upon from my rapidly emptying tank… where he’s so upset he won’t calm to my songs, or anything else we try for what seems like an eternity… where he may be peaceful and good-natured when I have him in my arms, and then immediately frantic and tearful if I set him down… or even when he is full of laughter, smiles and ready to be played with and entertained, and my cheeks have started to hurt from smiling.  There are days where I breathe a sigh of relief when he goes down for a nap, only to spend that time on laundry or making lunch or planning dinner because that’s the time when it’s easiest to do those things.  There are days where Mark and I plop down on the couch at the end of the day in front of a hulu show and eat our dinner there, worn out from our own form of work in the day.  And then turn on another show when that one ends.

BUT

I do believe… this is my own particular kind of heaven.

I’m sometimes shocked, after being woken up two, three, four times in a night to wails from the room down the hall, wishing each time that I could just sleep a full night again… that it’s still possible to walk down the hall, pick up that little screaming baby, and more often than not, instantly think that there’s no where else I’d rather be.

I’m not a masochist.  I enjoy sleep.  I also have a part of me that is wistful for the days, moments even, where my desires were the only important thing in my world to fulfill.

But here’s the truth…

We have our children with us for such a shockingly short amount of time.  18 years.  Before they’re grown and out to discover life on their own terms.

And we have our children as babies, toddlers, little young things, for an even smaller amount of time.  Short as the blink of an eye in the course of a life of 70 or 80 or 90 years.  Such a heartbreakingly short amount of time to cradle them, to cuddle them in your lap, to be the one they cry for in the middle of the night when they’re sad or hungry or lonely.  This is likely the only period of time in Mason’s whole life, where Mark and I are the only people in the world that he needs to feel safe and loved.  And I know this is that thing that all old ladies in supermarkets tell you over and over, but it’s all going to go by so fast.  So fast that soaking up even those really hard, exhausting, moments of endless giving… is so very important to me.

And if I can bring him some comfort in the middle of the night, or bring a giant smile to my baby’s face with just a couple little song verses.  Let me tell you, my heart swells.

Baby Mason Fauxhawk

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4 responses »

  1. That was really touching to read, Elaine. And many moms and dads could relate to it, I know.

    The picture of Mason looks like he could just climb right out of the page. He’s nearly sitting by himself, isn’t he? L.

    Reply
  2. Forgot to mention that his skin looks so much better in this picture. Can only see his face, but compared to our vacation together, this is a big change.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Being a Mama « Conversations

  4. You are so so right that this is the only time when we’re all they need to feel safe and loved. Such a beautiful reminder to be totally present in that role. I often think too that as rough as it is this is my heaven and that these are the days I will cherish even when I’m 90!

    Reply

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