Tuesday, November 01, 2005
And You Thought the Labor Ended
I'm going through a cycle of mothering which began long before the missed period. What I long suspected is now being confirmed. I am in this family for the duration. It's my whole world and the window from which I view my idea of life.
What's got me mixed up, pensive and clandestine is my teen-age daughter. We're staring at the beginning of her future. She doesn't really know it yet, but from where I stand, I am looking out at the distance over her head.
I'm not sure why my older son hasn't evoked this intense watchfulness. I'm guessing because he doesn't share my chromosomes albeit my personality.
Simply put, the girl is dragging me back through high school. I get to feel that anxiety of my self-worth and whether or not I'll go to Homecoming. She has a new crush, I have a new crush. She's got her own faith and her own intuition that dazzles me. It's hard to keep up. But aside from retro feelings, I'm seeing the second half of my life tied up neatly in a girl two-thirds my age and three quarter of my wisdom. I'm dreaming dreams about her like I've never done before. It's the expecting all over again. I can't tell as yet how long the gestation period, but in the end we're talking grandchildren, Christmas' apart and the children for me that did not come from my blood.
I can get myself pretty worked up about all this. It's always on my mind these days. I remember the intensity of fearing my toddler's fall. Just the thought could make me wince. This empathy proves she's mine.
As I pray to settle my nerves, all these thoughts tumble out of me during this quiet morning.
I realize that I have built a long motherhood. A long influence I started in the earliest of mornings. This is what it's for, those sleepless hours. It's for a life that is bigger than frustration over the last diaper used at 11:15 PM. It's stronger than the special odor lingering on the shoulder someone spit up on. These children have crafted in me more than how to make the books more appealing than the Barbie dolls and discovering creative ways with peanut butter. I still have the advantage of being the oldest. With all it's rights and responsibility, I get to see it all. I'll have been there from the beginning. It brings with it an authority that I can hand to her, if I choose, in a way that can go down easy. I love her, after all, and I can make sure she understands that.
So I dream about her future and mine. I dream about her happiness and my future son. I see her with a youth more successful and a marriage inspired by commitment and companionship. Together we can have what we build together. She just doesn't know it yet.
You're growing no doubt
though you don't see it.
You're stronger, but not
strong enough - you feel it
I will be the extra
I like to be the stand-in.
There are secret things to know
behind here, I like it.
You in your becoming
allow me to be complete.
The birth I thought was over
is still keeping me in labour.
I'll show you how to be old
I'll show you how to grieve
I'll show you how to worship
leaning on your staff.