For twelve hours I tried to believe it to mean something different. Because sometimes the obvious isn't so obvious. Sometimes the obvious sits in silent whispers, just still enough to leave room for doubt.
I wasn't ready to let go. I knew it was too early to let go.
I needed to hold on.
My fears raged for seven months straight. Those tightened muscles that medicine had a hard time relaxing confirmed my fears that I would have to let go . . . again . . . in a way that no mother should ever have to let go.
I needed to hold on tighter just a little more.
For four weeks, those fibers pulled tight enough and often enough and just enough to keep my fears dancing.
But you surprised me.
Those fibers tightened once more, with more time that had gone by and at the right time, those fibers tightened and I needed to let go. One slow breath at a time.
I let go and you entered our world.
You entered with lungs full of life. A sweet surprise . . . a sweet sound that interrupted the deafening silence of doubt that raged deep within me.
Four seasons have come and gone. Time has a way of letting go to let more be. Infant grunts and sighs let go for smiles and coos to full on belly laughs. Lying still in arms to rolling over to pulling up and moving on.
You surprised me.
I didn't think my broken heart was capable of filling up once again. But you came and it over flowed.
You surprised me.
My cup runneth over and my heart spills through.
By nature, I want to hold on. It's a mother's reflexive response. I want to hold on because it is so hard to let go.
My heart fills up and overflows.
My soul needs to sit in the reverence of the bittersweetness of motherhood.
Motherhood is full of laundry, dirty dishes, washing dirt off feet, reminding them for the hundreth time to say please and thank you but what wears a mother out and fills her up all at once, more than anything else, is trying to perfect the art of holding on and letting go.
Motherhood is full of muscles pulling tight but the pain ensues when we let out those long slow breaths. Those breaths we learned to breathe in and out to ease the pain of childbirth are the very breaths that hurt after.
We were designed to hold on to that which we desire to keep. But that's an illusion. We have to let go so we have something to hold on to.
I need to grieve the newborn onesies that have been folded, the blankets that swaddled and the sweet scent of new on you.
I need to inhale deep and then let it go so more of you can be. So I can breathe in worn out knees in your jeans, building forts with those blankets that swaddled and the scent of dirt, mischeviousness and you exploring the new.
I need to let go so you can be.
I may grieve the time that has gone by but I know I can only grieve because it was. I am grateful that I had it at all.