Here I go. The next stage of life. For almost ten years I have been home tending to little ones, feeding, consoling, entertaining, scolding, guiding little ducklings under my wing. I have read books, painted pictures, done puzzles, gone for walks, pushed swings, made snacks, wiped messes, wiped bottoms, sung lullabies. I can barely remember those early days with M, blurry like someone else’s life. Crying while she cried, long mornings rocking her in the rocking chair, trying to get her to nap, nursing for hours, sleepless nights, walks around campus with her tucked into the sling. So many years of mothering all day all night. Some of it was impossible, exhausting, frustrating. I scolded too hard, cried long tears. But I don’t think I regret any of those years. I loved them so dearly. Believed so completely that this work of fostering love, gentleness, playfulness, those hours and years spent on the floor with stuffed animals, or humming in the rocking chair were serious and significant work.
My only sadness about all those years is that they’re over. I’m still a mother of course, my children still need me, but that beautiful eternal season of tending to the little world within my walls is over. This morning all three girls ran up the stairs ahead of me, eager to run beyond my borders to find their own worlds. Even my little P now has a life that I am not witness to, relationships, interactions, mistakes, triumphs that I will not see or know. Oh my precious babies. Go with God, with love. Remember how I love you, but fly free on your winged path. I bless you and I miss you and I believe in you and I admire you. You do not belong to me, though I’m so honoured to know you.
This grieving, these tears, this is the reality of now, of what it means to move from one season to another. I spent so long in this last one I’ve forgotten how that grieving feels. And now there’s no going back. I knew it all along, I reminded myself daily to savour the present, to remember it would be fleeting, so I think I did it well, but there’s still no preparing for the actual end. The permanence of change. The never going back to little toddlers running around the house, little babies crying in their baskets, morning coffees with the girls on the porch, long afternoons of picture books. It was such a beautiful time. I miss it already. I will try to grieve well, to close that chapter with honesty and grace, and then, as the tears dry, to move into the next one, with strength, courage, presence, gratitude. Oh Life you are too beautiful.

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  1. experimentingaswegrow says:

    Oh my. Where to start commenting? Here of course… the one that quickens my breathe. I can’t believe you are already here Kirsten! I am at my mom’s house still with family and kids and craziness so I can’t spend as much time as I’d like reading everything. I stole a quick moment to come back here and am so happy I did. Quickly, I do want to say that I like the theme/homepage. It looks clean and easy to navigate.
    So much more to say. Mostly I’m really excited about this and your poetic voice! So glad you let me in.

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