Being at home for so much of the last few weeks, I’ve had these stirrings of memories from days long gone by. Not just a flashback of a picture but the whole thing of it, the feeling, the scents, the sounds, the quality of the light and even the physical feeling. The moments of holding my babies in my arms snuggled up nice and warm after a bath and a bottle. My heart is filled with these memories-feelings-pictures and moments. As I see each of my children, fully grown now, I remember the moments before they were born and all the hope I held for them. Then, after birth, I remembered the intensely overpowering love I felt for each of them as I held them close and took great care with them. I remember each of the pains of their growing and that was so bitter sweet to me. I remember with pride each of their milestones, their dark days and light days. I remember their smiles each and every one. When I close my eyes, I can still hear their laughter - the laughter of discovery of simple things like gravity, the creative things like using my nail polish on to repaint hot wheels, Legos (especially found by my toes in the middle of the night), movies, creating art, dancing, singing and just listening to music, the love and play with animals, and pure joy with this and that and everything else under the sun. I remember the look of love in their eyes. As I recall these sweet and precious memories and find that I’m over come yet again but in a different way now in this moment.
There were times as they were so very small, we struggled so much to get by. I shielded them from as much of some of the harsh realities of our existence as I was able and I kept them focused on what we could do. I worked hard and I did the best I could to give them all the things I never had. I did my best to raise them with empathy, understanding and compassion. I tried to teach them about unconditional love. I have to say that I’m just so completely proud of the people they have become on their own terms. The youngest baby now is finishing high school and she too will be on her way into the world to make a difference in her own unique and amazing way. I remember when I held each one of them close, wrapped safe and warm. I remember treasuring the moments and intentionally committing those moments to the memory of my heart. I used to think of them as my babies. But in reality, I love them too much to consider them just mine. I realize that they are not mine. They never were. They are the true loves and lights of the whole of my life - in the whole of my existence but each of them is their own person, being, and force to be reckoned with. Each has his and her own great and special purpose in this world and to see them live it is a precious gift to me. I was just lucky enough to have each of them in my care and to hold each of them in my heart.
I’m so very grateful that I was given the honor to be their Mother, the opportunity to know them and to love them as well as watch them grow into amazing human beings. Parenting is hard work, so very hard but it is truly the most precious gift in the world. Every time I see them, or even hear them speak, I’m instantly transported to many moments backwards in time. I smile, fight back tears sometimes and take a breath - a very long, slow and deliberate breath and I smile from the depths of my soul. It’s such a strange time to be alive and I consider them among the bravest of beings for choosing to be here now at this time in this crazy, mixed up and beautiful world. I pray that they always, always see pink clouds in a sunrise or sunset and remember the days we shared noticing the beauty, looking for the bright side, and capturing a moment in word, in photo, in hand drawn impression of a view, any view and I hope that they one day - each of them - have many moments to feel all the love in the world I feel right now for each of them, always, still, and forever.
Count your blessings every day and be grateful for every moment that you have ever shared with those who mean the most in life to you. Let them know, every day and in every way that you care, that you love them and want the very best for them, even when they change, grow and move away from you. As a parent, you know that IS the goal, right? I’ll tell you a secret, love does not just live in proximity. Love lives period. The more you love, the more you are filled with infinite gratitude for all that you love. I wish you many beautiful blessings in these challenging times. I wish you strength, health, abundance, love, laughter and great hope. Don’t miss the next sunrise or sunset without holding pure gratitude for existence.
For my children, I wish every joy, happiness, life lesson, and the feeling of overcoming challenge, adversity, tears and more. They are strong and amazing. Hold onto the the good memories and consider the lessons of the more difficult ones and know that above all else you are loved so powerfully and so completely no matter what it is you do in this life!
Copyright 2020, Jaie Hart