One Night Before Six

Oh, this motherhood. This motherhood– this becoming– it fills our hearts and empties them, makes us and breaks us.

Motherhood is never what we expect– no matter what we expect. It is always bigger, smaller, louder, quieter, messier, seldom cleaner. It is the wrench of the heart and the soar of joy and the falling of grief and the bubbling up of laughter, and it is all these things in each moment that we hold these small hearts to ours.

I am never enough for this.

And this child, this son, this gift asked of God, he is perhaps the one who stretches my heart and my patience the most. Baby for so long that now, suddenly, I look at him as though he is almost a stranger, this big boy with long boy legs, this big brother who in my heart is still a little, little boy.

I shop for candles, reach for number four. He will be six tomorrow.

Six. Six years in this family, six years of charming me with those beautiful eyes and making me crazy with his inscrutable ways. You never know the why with this one. Why would he do that thing? I’m not sure he even knows.

I worry and fret about him; is he learning, is he growing, is he becoming who he is supposed to be? And then he bows at my knee and tells the One who hears, “I just really appreciate this good day so much,” and I know my worries are pointless; he is who he will be– and he is not who I am, and sometimes that confuses me.

He sounds out words– rrrrrrunnnnnnnnnn– ssssssssssssssssssit– Mmmmmmmmmmmmooooooommmmmmmm– and I look at him in awe and wonder when he stopped saying “My do it!” and exchanged it for “I can do it, Mom– see?”

He is joy, and he breaks my heart with his tallness, and he makes me crazy with his messes, and he steals my heart with his smile. He is mine, my son, my boy, and I am so blessed to be his, his mom. I can’t imagine this life without his entirely mysterious little self in it.

I steal into his room for one more kiss before the clock says tomorrow.


13 thoughts on “One Night Before Six

  1. let me first just say… i have missed your way with words. oh, and secondly, i would like to steal this for cam’s birthday, except i will have to substitute a bigger number. like more than double.

    and now… i want to wish your son the happiest birthday yet 🙂 i love these pictures… his smile and his eyes… ooo. and those balloons with the sun shining on through. just right 🙂

    (and who’s counting? just perfect!)

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention One Night Before Six « Together for Good --

  3. erin, this is my favorite of all your posts (although i’ll probably feel that way about your next post).
    first, happy 6th birthday to your boy!

    “Oh, this motherhood. This motherhood– this becoming– it fills our hearts and empties them, makes us and breaks us. .. I am never enough for this.”

    so so true.

    and yes, our children are such mysteries. made in God’s image, never ours. God unwrapping, unfolding, revealing more of himself through each of them . He is so good.

    happy celebrating!

  4. Pingback: Slapdash Saturday, edition 29: Anyone Want a Cupcake? « Together for Good

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