I wonder what's coming next? As the weather is changing around me, I feel as though I'm stepping around a corner, into a great unknown.
My dear friend and I joke all the time about parenting young children; the moment you get breastfeeding under control, they start to need food. They finally sleep through the night, then begin teething. Decisions are made, love is given, under tired eyes and on shifting sands.
I have finished having babies. There. My littlest, surpris-ey girl is almost two. Will soon be out of her cot, and after three babies and three different homes, I never got around to decorating the nursery. The shame! I learned early that my parenting energy and skill is limited: I can choose to spend it on making it appear that I'm across things, or I can invest it in just plugging away. Getting small people out of bed each day, making breakfast, wiping noses, cooking dinner. Teaching, loving, instilling. It's difficult to remember that this time is short. I seem to be continually being delivered the same lesson: shifting sands.
As I am tip-toeing over shifting sands yet again, I'm finding it all too easy to get caught up in doubts and worries about what my next contribution might be. I am no longer the proud mama holding a fresh baby. My kids are growing up, worthy of space to develop their own identities. I felt a gentle unravelling this morning, when my nearly-four-year-old came out of his room fully dressed. A few of the strong stitches binding me to those tasks of filling the needs of others, unpicked.
Gradually, suddenly, our babies will become independent beings. If we do our job well, we will make ourselves redundant. I know I am other than mama. I know my darling and I will hold hands when our babies are grown up. Just as fulfilling needs of little people takes energy and effort, so does developing myself and my other relationships. And the sands are shifting just a little, just enough to allow a redistribution of my energies.
As for those corners? Who knows what's around there. That's the fun of running on shifting sands, right?