Saturday, February 1, 2014

Your Heart Outside Your Body

I cannot shake the remnants of this flu bug I battled almost two weeks ago. My get up and go done got up and went.

Up early today to take David to drumline, I ran by the bank and then came back home and promptly went back to bed. There's so much to do…but all I can manage is the coughing and hacking. It seems like I'm wasting minutes. Hours. Days. Clinging to grace, but it's always so hard to extend to myself for all that I do not do.

I did get up and do some grocery shopping this afternoon, and I cooked a most excellent dinner for my menfolk; so there are some measurements of accomplishment to the day.

I listened to Prairie Home Companion and my heart was warmed by Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver and Neko Case and Pete Seeger songs. Life is good, on these warm Saturday nights in my kitchen.

And warm is the truth; I still have the back door open, letting the 60 degree fresh air slip throughout the house. We're due for more polar vortex stuff next week, but today was a beauty.

I've few coherent thoughts tonight, but I have been thinking a lot about pregnancy and childbirth and that era of life that we enter when our families are young, when the marriage is fresh and everything is beginning. I walked by the baby department in Target the other day and saw a young, pregnant woman shopping. Instantly, there was resonance; I remembered.

She moved through the aisle with an obvious confidence, a comfort. I recognized that as well, and I thought about how amazing it was, to hold a new life inside my own; to claim pregnancy and children as a natural part of the progression of my life as a human. I was confident, and as the children came along, one after the other, I just pulled up my jeans and put my hair in a ponytail and kept working. Managing. Caring. Feeding and clothing and providing and mothering.

It went by so fast.

The other day I spotted some Facebook meme, some pithy statement that being a mother means "walking around with your heart outside of your body for the rest of your life."  I've heard that before, and supposed it was true. But in those moments - those years - of raising them, of being responsible for their well-being in every way, it's not so true, honestly. At least I didn't feel the truth of that statement.

Until now. When one lives four states away and has seized an incredible life and wonderful community, another is completely happy and content pursuing education and independence, and yet another is about to be married in six short months. The boys are growing up and out.

And now, this is the time when your heart is excised from your body and you sort of wonder what the heck happened. I love that I grew through those child-rearing years; I love that I have settled into my life with some small measure of wisdom and grace. I am not discontent.

But when it comes time to relinquish one role for another, to give up your seat on the Young Family bus and take the role of overseer; well, it's different.

Not bad.


I am excited about the years to come, and grateful for those that have passed. In the meantime, I'm doing a good bit of pondering. To some degree, I think a woman can lose herself in parenting.

And then find herself all over again.

I never knew what you all wanted 
So I gave you everything….

(Thank you, brother…)


Jayne said...

And I think we all are tasked with finding ourselves again when our focus is no longer outward but inward as we shift from "other care" to "self care." Needed, and necessary to continue our walk in this journey called life. xo Sure hope you feel much better soon, dear friend.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I love this and it sounds so deep inside of me.

It is different. It is its own kind of good. Especially when you get to see hearts walking around outside of the heart walking around outside of you! lol

spookyrach said...

What they said about motherhood. :)

I really loved the picture of your warm kitchen with the door open and the breeze flowing through while you cook and listen to Guy Noir, et al. haha! Made me want to come and hang out!!

annie said...

This is beautiful.