I’m 21 years old and my world has tilted completely off its axis. The guy I’ve been harboring deeper feelings of attachment for than I’ve even allowed myself to contemplate is standing at the door of my house. I’ve known him for years and I don’t know him at all. I try not to trip down the stairs and noncholantly tap his chest, “Wait right here, I’m almost ready.” My heart is fluttering and rapid, I can’t feel my stomach, and I’m suddenly hyper aware of my skin. I’m a confused mess of giddy nerves, incredulity, and awe.
So began the tentative breaching of all the boundaries that defined our careful, long lasting friendship, and the maddening, hectic explosion into love. Six years ago I was only beginning to test the depths of those intoxicating waters, now I am submerged and still diving, glorying in the wonder of marriage to my husband. We were like two planets in orbit around each other, the gravitational pull being an invisible point between us forged by unexplainable things.
I miss being just a couple.
My firstborn son enters into the world furious and screaming. They place him on my chest, a funny looking bundle of righteous indignation, protesting the indignities of his first few moments outside the protection of my womb. I am overwhelmed. Over the next months I am entranced by his rapid development, every milestone new for both of us. Everything expands: my awareness of the world, my perceptions of life, my ability to love-both my husband and my son. I am hammered and melted and annealed into motherhood, and Cade is the catalyst for my transformation.
I miss just having one child.
I sit in my glider and watch as my toddler meticulously stacks nesting blocks “just so” on the carpet. I can find no logic or reasoning in his placement and removal system, but his brow is furrowed in concentration and every movement exactingly deliberate. I yearn to sit next to him and play. A squirm in my arms redirects my attention to the tiny baby nestled against my breast, long body wrapped around my waist, slender fingers wiggling and grasping at nothing. The ache I feel is profound. This small wonder is mine. The cute snorts when he’s angry, the skinny legs curled up like a frog on my chest, the hiccups, the dream smiles, the list goes on…and then my toddler knocks the block tower over and my attention is redirected once again.
I miss not being able to bask uninterrupted in the wonder of the newborn stage with Zane.
With every change comes gain and loss. People keep changing for the gain, and people hold onto sameness for fear of the loss.
I have gained so much. Right now I feel like I have gained more than I can handle. My desires eclipse the inadequacy of my reality. I can’t always be one hundred percent devoted to just my husband, just Cade, and just Zane…but I want to be. My attention is divided. My responsibilities have multipled. I am needed and I am falling short. With the incredible joy that comes with bringing life into the world is the tinge of grief that comes with irrevocable change.
It hurts; the expansion of myself, the swelling of love, the loss of what had been established, the fear of uncharted territory in life. I wouldn’t trade my family for anything in this earthly world, but right now I am acutely aware of growing pains.