Motherhood, as it turned out, isn’t as straightforward as looking into your eyes while bearing a sparkle in mine while cradling you with a familiar lullaby as I rest my cheeks against this warm headrest on the family’s old rocking chair. No, it isn’t as straightforward as that, and in fact, there are no rocking chairs. With you, I am somewhere in between being obsessed with routines and reminding myself to embrace this mess. I am “go to bed by eight” and discovering Duplo blocks in the fruit basket. With you, time is neither moving too fast nor too slow, it is both of them and it is us living in different time zones. You want things now and I want to put things back where they belong, things like those Duplo blocks in the fruit basket and things like your bedtime that you have deferred another night. It is you growing up too fast and it is me waiting for you to nap in the carseat as I circle this drive-thru the third time. With you, I am constantly wanting to keep you safe and fervently wanting you to colour in the world map to represent all the places you’ve kissed the sun and played in muddy puddles. With you, things are neither this nor that, they never quite make sense. But without you, my life would never make sense.
We are always pedalling our way into sunsets these days. And if we’re not, we are either chasing each other, or our dreams. I love the way these little journeys remind us of our bigger journeys. Of how some moments leave us pedalling uphill in sweaty foreheads and shortness of breaths. And how some others leave us sliding downhill in giggly shrieks and fits of laughter. Of how it’s wonderful to have several (or more) stops along the way to simply enjoy the view, even if it’s imperfect. That even if the leaves at the end of the longest branch on this tree are drier than others, the greens at the other end are accentuated beautifully, and this fresh cool breeze on our cheeks feels magical. There is beauty in imperfection. And then there’s the sunset we’ve been waiting at the end of our ride. And that - all of that - is life too. The uphill slopes, the downhill slopes, the beautiful imperfections of this present moment, and the way that something Big awaits us at the end of this journey. Here’s to making the best of our rides.
There are days when I would run out of words to say because poetry would have cartwheeled its way in between our sweaty palms as we rush down our favourite sunlit fields in fits of laughter hand in hand, or in between your tangled curly hair I couldn’t braid in between rushed morning school runs, or in between imaginary enchanted forests we’d play hopscotch for hours before sunset, or in between the same comfort of sunlight we’d chase each day but never get enough of. It’s funny how we look at the same sky with a different kind of marvel each day, each hour. But I guess maybe that’s how it is with the things we love - I have a picture of you captured on my phone each day; same smile, new love.