sea legs

when dylan was almost a year old, i joined a mothers of preschoolers (MOPS) group at an area church.  i loved being mama to my sweet girl, but stay-at-home motherhood was achingly isolating, and i was thankful to have adult contact again.

the strange thing about MOPS, though, was that as nice as everyone was, i didn't feel quite in tune with other moms there.  everyone always talked about how crazy motherhood was, how overwhelmed and stressed they were, and how our meetings twice a month were this sanctuary in the storm.

i had no idea what they were talking about.

i'm not saying that dylan was an easy baby or that i took everything in stride.  although she was a charmer and a sociable little thing, dylan didn't sleep well and was very sick for a time.  nevertheless, life with one babe was pretty quiet.  we read and cuddled and played.  we took naps.  meeting her needs and even breastfeeding around the clock, i still found plenty of time to read, watch movies, or get things done at home.

today, a friend posted this old photo on facebook from way back then:

it was only two years ago, but i look like a baby in this shot.  people keep "liking" it on facebook, and it's cracking me up because i only wish i looked this dewy and fresh-faced today.  (although my hair is better now.  not this minute, mind you, but you get the point;)

and then it hit me:   

this is the face of a mother with only one child.

i don't feel all that in tune with her either, anymore.  back then, i was just dipping my toes in this motherhood thing.

now i'm in deep.

there are days that raising two feels like swimming against the undertow.  not waving but drowning.  a rogue wave that steals my breath and my suit and how the junk am i gonna make it back to my towel when my top is out to sea?

it's no secret that the learning curve for mothering two kids was not easy for me.  it still isn't.  i now understand what those manic mamas were feeling, who mothered more kids and older babes.

but it's not all chaos and crazy:  the plunge into mothering multiple children was icy, but the initial shock is wearing off.  in the unpredictable sea that is motherhood, playful surf-splashing and the giddy thrill of riding waves feature, too.

i'm discovering treasures in sand.  the shoreline may appear ordinary, but beach combing unearths uncommon beauty.  there is delight in what others dismiss as debris.

in the water, with time and practice, i'm learning the strokes.  the breathing rhythms, once awkward, are becoming natural.

it's only in the deep--feet up, head back, trusting and relaxed--that i know the weightless wonder of letting go.

linked up with melissa and emily.

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