There is an essence to raising children that calls forth something within you that you didn’t know was there.
Childbirth alone is something monumental and terrifying but somehow we do this big thing that seems in the last moments insurmountable.
It is exhilarating and the end result is nothing short of a miracle.
What that little miracle of a life requires of you as a mother is beyond description or measure.
Sometimes I feel like a pretty capable mother and other days I wonder what on earth I’m doing.
These last few days, crippled with grief, I have been unable. Unable to see or meet even the needs staring me in the face. My own mother (and my father) stepped into my life and basically took things over. Despite her own sadness as her mother’s (my grandmother’s) health was failing rapidly in a hospital across the country, she hopped on a plane back here and stepped in as only a mom can do. Many asked what they could do and sometimes I could put together a request. But mostly, I could not.
And that is where my mom and dad stepped in. They and my sisters made sense of disorder. They gently put pieces together and figured out what to do. Mom told me where I should be and made it work for me to be there. They loved our children.
Last night, completely without an ounce of energy, patience or anything left in me. I went to bed. Chris put Kyler to bed (and Rylee too I thought). But then he was gone and they were quietly whispering a soft conversation in the hallway. The quietest whisper I’ve ever heard from them.
I mustered all I had and told them, from my own bed, to go to sleep.
Rylee offered to tuck Kyler in. She did and then went to bed.
Three minutes pass and Kyler is stealthily tip-toeing into my room.
I can’t even lift my head or move any of my limbs I am so weary.
I say nothing and listen. He stands right near my head and starts singing “Mommies, Daddies, brothers and sisters….please come back.”
He sweetly stands there singing and whispering my name for several minutes.
I finally turn my head. I want to be frustrated and snap and tell him to “GET IN BED!”.
Then I remember.
He is sad too, in his own little 3 year old way.
So I muster every ounce of energy I don’t have, get out of bed, take his chubby hand and walk him back to bed.
I tuck him in, rub his naked soft back and play with his hair.
I get up to leave and he says in the most un-whiny but slightly desperate voice, “Mama, I’m askin’ please. Please, please will you lay with me and snuggle me?”
And despite having nothing left to give and our policy of “once you’re tucked in you stay and bed and go to sleep”, I say yes.