The sensations of motherhood
I lead a journaling workshop on Wednesday mornings. One of the prompts this week was to compile 5 lists of 5: 5 things you love to see, 5 things you love to hear, 5 things you love to touch, 5 things you love to smell, 5 things you love to taste. When I decide on the prompts for class, I very deliberately do not think about what my answers will be. So, just like for everyone else in the workshop, when I gave out the instructions and everyone settled down to quietly brainstorm their lists, I had a blank page in front of me. But then I found these words tumbling out:
I love the sight of baby’s smile when he sees me for the first time after waking or my having been away
I love the feel of baby’s skin
I love the feel of baby’s head on my shoulder
I love the smell of baby’s skin after a bath
I love the sound of baby’s chirping
Motherhood is truly sensational– filled with experiences that delight and overwhelm your senses. It fills you up, tears you apart, wears you down, renews your faith, gives you hope.
We have been home for three months now, and our baby boy is now 8 months old. He knows Lola’s name and when we say her name, he looks everywhere around trying to find her. He knows that if he puts his hand on his daddy’s back, his daddy will turn around with a great big smile. He knows that he will be greeted each morning by me scooping him up and saying, “Hello, critter!” He has faith in the songs that I sing to him, relaxing into them at first verse. His favorite toys are rubber ducks, finger sized stuffed animals that each represent one letter and come together in a zippered book as The Alphabet Train, stacking cups, an aquarium bowl that lights up and makes music when he drops two chubby little fishes into it, and his blue car. He loves to take a bath. He doesn’t mind taking medicine. He has a smile that lights up our hearts and a voice that I am desperate to capture on tape before it disappears. He observes everything, doesn’t miss a thing, cannot get enough of life.
What I know for sure is that his is the life that we were meant to guide. Ours are the hearts that he was meant to soften and wisen. This is the journey that we were each meant to take. It is humbling. It is inspiring. It is maddening. It is raw. It is real. And it is imperfect. But every second of it is miraculous, and our souls can’t help but look on in wonder.