Outlines in the Landscape

This weekend was pretty nice. We didn’t end up having much going on which was exactly what we needed after being away last weekend. I enjoyed some one-on-one time with both kids, which I really appreciate because those moments when my attention isn’t divided are the rare instances in which I really feel like I get to connect with either of them in a meaningful way.

Yesterday I took the kids to the Academy of Science while my husband cleaned the house so his friend who was stopping by wouldn’t think we live like savages. It was a chaotic trip, as one-parent/two-kid outings generally are, but I was happy to be out of the house. I go crazy when I’m stuck at home all day.

Parking was crazy and we ended up finding a spot a good 15 minutes away from our destination. Walking back with my son on my back and my daughter in the stroller (she is way too big for the stroller) was exhausting and I was starving and just wanted to get home. It took forever to get both kids strapped into their seats and all the jackets, food containers, water cups, diaper accoutrements and extra clothes (some soiled, some still clean) out from under the stroller and by the time I was in the driver’s seat I just wanted to shut my eyes for at least 15 full, uninterrupted minutes.

And yet, when I put on the tired mix of kids’ music we’ve listened to literally hundreds of times, I was struck by a feeling of contentment so deep, it gave me chills. I was suddenly reminded of the sheer terror I felt, after our ectopic, that I might never have a child or be a mother, and I felt a rush of gratitude for the two beings in my back seat so profound that my hands shook for a few minutes.

I used to have that feeling all the time in the year after my daughter was born, and in the months after my son joined the family, but I haven’t felt it since he became mobile and my world started to implode in slow motion. It was a relief to touch that deep well, to know that I could still access the enormity of my past sorrow despite the deep chasm time has carved between that terrified woman of so many years ago and her ambivalent, present day counterpart.

All that to say, there are good days. Some of them are even great. There are moments when my life with two kids unfolds like a faded photograph from so many years ago and I recognize the outlines of my former dreams in the landscape of my future.

It’s only the colors that don’t quite match up, and I think I have more power over the filter than I let myself believe.

4 Comments

  1. This is so beautiful and powerful. I’m glad you were able to tap into that deep well. I know what you mean. It’s there but sometimes we forget in all the madness and stress. xo

  2. I was thinking about this exact same thing last night, how I am so grateful for my two boys. That deep feeling and ache of thankfulness and amazement doesn’t hit me as often as it did after Aiden was born, but off and on it does and it stops me in my tracks. I think we are just so chaotic and in a way, used to motherhood/routines that it’s easy to overlook and really feel how lucky we really, really are. So glad you had an awesome weekend with your kids!!

    1. ” I think we are just so chaotic and in a way, used to motherhood/routines that it’s easy to overlook and really feel how lucky we really, really are.” This is exactly it. And I think that has increased since having two kids. But there are still moments like the one I wrote about and I hope there always will be.

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