It always takes me a while to adjust to new circumstances and new titles in my life. When I got married I had to roll around the word wife on my tongue a long time until I felt at ease with it. All I could see where the negative connotations of that word. Wife sounded so alien, so other, something I’d never thought would be mine.
I grew used to it. I am proud and thankful to be a wife now. I’m able to say that without elevating it above other circumstances of life. But equally I don’t want to denigrate it. I am a wife, I am married, I love being a wife.
Last night whilst reading this excellent blog post I realised I’m doing the same with the word mother. I am a mother. Again a state I never thought I’d be in and one which to be honest I’ve fought against. I never prepared for this, I never thought in a million years I’d actually have my own living breathing child. That sort of thing just doesn’t happen to people like me, it happens to people who look like mothers, you know, those people who have children, mothers. Oh wait. That’s me now. I fear the label, I fear what people see and whether they can see beyond the buggy and the slightly tired lady pushing it. I wonder whether they can still see me.
I am a mother. This is the life I’ve been given to live. I’ve pushed against it, I’ve been scared of it, I’ve raged in anger against the things I fear I’ve lost forever.
This weekend I could see a contentment in this life now, in patiently looking after my small boy as he figures out this world, in accepting that for now the writing has lessened, the ‘ministry’ has slowed down and life has become about nurturing and caring for my boy. I could see the value in that life but it felt inaccessible, contained in a glass box.
I think there are cracks and holes in the glass box now. Contentment is breaking out and into my world.
There are bits and pieces of my former life lying on a shelf above me, they may come down every now and again, they may be taken up at some later date but I am still me. I am Kath and right now God has put me in this place, this new land and has called me to care for and love our boy. He knows what the future holds, he knows my hopes and dreams, he knows.
He knows and yet he calls me to live now, to accept and rejoice in the value of life today with my son, to love him through colds and vomit, to hold him in the middle of the night and soothe him back to sleep, to feed him, to delight with him in his new discoveries of his hands and feet. I am a mother to this boy and I am learning slowly and surely what that really means. I think this will take a lifetime. All this doesn’t come easy but I am learning to accept that life is about something other than me right now.
So I get up when I hear his cries and I try and ask the one who knit him together in my womb to help me through the night. I stand and sway with a small body in my arms and try to ask the one who knit me together for help in this strange death. Slowly I find life in this new world.