Tonight, I'm ripping apart a half-finished nightgown I was knitting for River. I started it a month or so before her birth, visions of a cherubic infant clad in an organic cotton sleeper dancing in my head. A serious pattern misstep led me to set the project aside and I've just now picked it up again. My first intention was to finish the project...until I held it up and realized it was long enough to cover two of River. The real baby-- the one in my arms-- looked quite different than the dream baby I saw while I was knitting.
Mothering is like that too these days.
I prayed for River for almost a year, carried her for nine months, and birthed her; I carry her next to my chest, over my heart, and give her milk that my own body has made-- even if it's three in the morning. But will I be a nominee for the Bad Mama awards if I admit that there are times-- daily-- when I miss life before this much-loved little tornado came into ours lives? While I couldn't imagine not having River, I find myself missing the days when life was routine and predictable. Everything fit into a pattern, like my knitting project. Now all of a sudden there's a newborn around and nothing is business as usual. Bedtimes, naptimes, housecleaning, cooking, bath times, play time....all have an added dimension of challenge. I find myself looking at this stage of mothering like I looked at my baby nightgown-- quite different from the mothering to which I had grown accustomed with Ember.
So I find myself ripping out those ideas too. I'm not the mother I was before River came. Instead of a mother of one, I am a mother of two. When I started to unravel the flawed nightgown, I was surprised at how much relief I felt. I was surrendering my idea of how things were supposed to be and accepting how they were so I could make something better. The same goes for mothering my two little ones. What worked before may not work now but that's where God's grace comes in. He sustains me, daily, while I put together a new pattern, one that fits the joys and challenges of our growing family. I don't know what the finished project will look like but I can rejoice in the process because it's not my work alone but His work in me that will bring us to what He meant for my home to be.