Rowan and I had the house to ourselves this morning. He gifted us with his longest-ever straight stretch of sleep last night (7 glorious hours!) but then, naturally, refused to nap until 10 minutes before it was time to leave for church. Evelyn and Drew went together and Rowan and I enjoyed the peace of home all to ourselves. It was such a delight to spend time with this little man, just us two. After his nap and nursing, he entertained himself with his bin of blocks for 30 minutes while I drank tea and read. Even with no sister to climb on top of or take toys from, he was surprisingly content working away, banging things together and rearranging piles.
I imagine this kind of mid-morning peace is an equally rare event in the lives of mamas of one or 7, a sort of encouraging pause and peace to remind us of the always changing seasons and patterns in the chaos of life with little people. I’m grateful.
I finally downloaded the timehop app and it has been a fun and somewhat profound reminder of the seasons past and the leaps and shifts and moves that have brought us to this place. All of my photos and posts from this time last year involve the giant belly that left me permanently couch-bound, counting down the days and the kicks, so eager to start life with our two little people. But then I think back and back [or is it out and out?] into the somehow timeless void of before-life. How the making of love called two new people from whatever that place is into this life, and gave them life. How they became them and we became us by giving one another love.
We had been trying for many months while in Toronto when our little Selah came and left so quickly. Life and death are so unpredictable, so short and so long, whole and hollow. We were not trying/not-not trying during the fall when we found out we were pregnant with the twins. I think the sudden and surprising joy of it all happening so quickly reminded me how little my control has to do with love. I could not make this pregnancy ‘viable’ any more than I could the first time, a thought that now seems quite dark but at the time was profoundly freeing. The weight of sustaining life was off my shoulders and took root instead inside my whole person in a warm and wonderful way.
So while I snuggle down under covers in the quiet hours of night, giving of my body to feed my little loves, I think back a year to the giving of my body to grow them, and back a year to before my body even held their older sister, before she was called from that wild mystery of space or time into this brief life. And perhaps her life was really not so much shorter than any of ours, in the span of time and the expanse of the universe.
But still I feel compelled to mark the passing of these months. Is it to prove their existence, celebrating and marveling that we have schlepped along, learning and growing together over four more weeks? Maybe I count them off because I do not want to forget; even though the days are so long, the weeks melt together in a blur of memories and emotions and I cannot get a firm grasp on either.
Last night Kendra and Mark came over to offer us a bit of baby-reprieve and then join us for baby-bedtime routines and dinner and wine and most of a pan of brownies. It was wonderful. While we talked about life and the people we have been and how we imagine the next few years I was daydreaming about 9.75 months ago when we had just returned to this apartment with those two kids and put them in the arms of these amazing friends. I wonder, is it possible that the passage of time affects us differently, not just for our age but for our circumstances? Time surely seems epic when the passing of a week or two brings a new routing of neurons which teach my daughter how to start her army crawl and my son to test the waters of standing and balancing all on his own. Time seems so slow after a costco trip when the pile of groceries and toilet paper and baby wipes form a sort of monument to our new suburban life, proving this is all we’ve ever been and will ever be. Sell-outs. Indulgers of the consumerism and ease that we spend so much time reading and debating and challenging in our late night conversations. Slow time tells me I will never be anyone or anywhere else. The warp speed that my children live in tells me I cannot imagine what will come next!
So here we are. Month 10, in which I try to sort out the mystery of time. Month 10, in which Evelyn’s little giggle and Rowan’s husky belly laugh are infectious. Month 10, in which we wait for word of what comes next.