it was a morning, post school drop-off morning, that ben and i were lingering in the silence catching up on emails and the like sans kids. and then i look over ben's shoulder as he revisits a video from 2 years ago of a little audrey who is trying her best to repeat her daddy when he says, "London!" but her version is something like, "yun yun!" she has this precious grin and breathy voice and her excitement all matches her efforts. seriously, this is a perfect example as to why we took videos of our little ones: i wouldn't have remembered this moment at all, but now i get to ask ben to play it over and over again for me. i love it. and in about the second viewing, i start these sobs that shake my body, split my spirt, strike at a deep, motherly nerve:
i'm done having babies and that is both wonderful and terribly sad.
in the days and even weeks after that first realization (and with a very confused husband who did his best to understand and comfort me), i found myself at odd times (often alone) feeling the prickling in my heart and the warmth of tears on my face as proof to this continued grief. i guess that's what i'd call it. grieving. and i'm trying to sort through it.
there will never be that feeling again for planning and welcoming a new baby into our lives and making that space between whispers and yearnings, a hidden secret from the world only shared by the two of us until we chose to reveal our mystery. the feeling of inutero movements and the pain of labor and the strength of my heated body. no more naming of a person. the having babies stage of life is over. we are moving on.
yet there is peace in this grief and a welcomeness to it. there is an amount of finality which is both lonely and weightless. a relief.
as our baby girl will turn four soon, i am apt to yearn for memory lane and live in those videos and pictures from years ago. but at the same time, i don't want to miss the now. savoring how she still lets me hold her (how she still wants me to hold her--ouch), hugs me endlessly, wants to play with me, and make discoveries made up of whatever she can get her hands on (concoctions of dirt, and cheese, sugar, water, pickles, etc.). i'm invited into life with a six year old and a four year old, and i'm all in. this is good and my attention is maxed out on just these two.
it feels right to both grieve and celebrate the end of this chapter in our lives.
and because life is not set in stone and God is in control, i humbly recognize that His will for us might not be what i think it is. so i trust in the peace that he's placed in my heart, but i also know that His plans outweigh ours.
i remember this post, written soon after audrey was born, and how much it dwells in my heart presently.