Myself, Himself and the five kids....anything could happen!
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Last week, on Ash Wednesday, I decided to start Lent well, (it's been downhill since), so I took Luke to Mass to 'get our ashes'. The extra motivation of losing a few lbs, meant walking there in the rain, but because Jude had forgotten his wellies, and his class were planting trees, I did a mad dash to the school to drop them off first. So, drenched and late, I snuck in the back with the buggy, and thanks to a steady supply of raisins, Luke didn't have to be physically removed from the building until pretty close to the end. A personal record actually.
There happened to be another stretched mummy there, who with heroic bravery had brought her infant twin girls and toddler, and I'm ashamed to say fared better than I did. It did strike me though, as I watched her multitask, that, almost without having realizing it, I had moved on a stage. Suddenly, right then, and quite unexpectedly, I felt a little pang of regret. Because for the longest time, almost thirteen years in fact, I've been multitasking with babies and toddlers...but now my baby's a toddler, and my toddlers are children and it's making me a little sad. And a little happy. And a lot confused.
I used to look at mummies who had their children 'up a wee bit', and wistfully think 'some day that'll be me, and life will get a bit more calm and I'll not have little hands clutching, wanting, needing me ALL THE TIME. Now here I am, and my baby is almost two, and previously at this point there's been another on the way, or already in my arms, and this new territory looks unfamiliar and slightly scary. I really love where he's at right now too - he's becoming so vocal and independent, but is still my cuddly, brown eyed babe as well. Perhaps I'm enjoying him so much precisely because I'm NOT also juggling a newborn, and it's just the two of us in the mornings, and he's my little mate. He's also our last and I know now how fast the time flies and it won't be long til he's off to school....and it makes me well up just thinking about it.
A friend with six kids said to me recently that she wished she could have frozen them about 5 years ago, when the eldest was 10 and the youngest 2... and I do know just how she feels. But then I'd never get to see them blossom and grow into the young adults they were born to be and that's part of the journey too, right? I haven't travelled there myself yet, but I know plenty who have and they say it's a trip worth taking. I suppose that right now, I'm feeling the apprehension that comes with impending change. Of course my children are still young and still need me, but gradually over time my role as mother will evolve, and with it my identity. How do I do that? What will I be ? Will I return to pastures old or reach for pastures new? And really do I have anything to offer anymore anyway? Goodness! I've gone all existential on you and I'm sure you weren't bargaining on that on a Wednesday afternoon. Ah well, these are ponderous questions for another day because now there's laundry to fold and school runs to do.....and for once I'm really quite grateful for that!