the most enormous joy

Evelyn, just a couple months ago.

Today I am feeling some exquisite pain that I have never really felt before. It is an unusual pain and I call it exquisite because it is coupled with the most enormous joy my heart has ever held. It is the pain/joy of motherhood.

Finn, one year ago.

I was just surfing Facebook, befriending some women I just met this morning, and I saw a photo of someone's kid. A boy, probably six or so, and he looked a little like Finn. His eyes were dark brown and all of the sudden it hit me - Finn will be this big someday. He will grow up into a sweaty, wild boy. Into his own person. One day he and I will not be intricately intertwined as we are now. And I just started weeping. Big, heavy tears.

Finn, now.

This emotion is something other mothers may be familiar with, but it is new to me, and it is both terrible and beautiful. This fear and pride of allowing my children independence, and knowing that someday they will be their own.
With this feeling bubbling up, scraping my heart on the inside, I have to remember to cherish these fleeting moments. Holding my sweet little daughter close to me, smelling her milky skin. She and I are still just one being, pretty much. Her degree of need is high, and I sustain her. I relish our time together, because before I know it she will be on the brink of 2, like Finn, and wanting independence more than anything. For now, though, she is completely mine.

Evelyn, now.


Tori said...

Aww Jess, this brought tears to my eyes.
You are such a wonderful mother, and i don't think you know how much i admire you.
I have learned a lot from you in the few moments we have shared about what kind of mom I would like to be someday...so, thank you.

p.s. You guys have made such amazingly beautiful babies.

Jess said...

Tori, thanks so much. : )

Levin said...

i had moments like that, regularly - especially with my youngest because i knew he was my last. but you know what, as they grow and learn and develop you become enthralled with who they are and what they are becoming and it's still so wonderful. my daughter is 16 and we are close, and my sons are 6 and almost 9 (9 this saturday) and still they come in for cuddles in the morning and i'm willing to take them for however long it lasts :)
but the moral of the story is to try and enjoy every moment, because every moment is fleeting.

natalie said...

*smiles* love you. you're such an amazing momma!

Maggie Ann. said...

Oh Jess,
I know exactly that which you speak. It is so startling. When it hit me the other day it was overwhelming...
You said it so well, "This fear and pride of allowing my children independence, and knowing that someday they will be their own."
I'm right there with you Mama. This is a brave, brave thing we have embarked upon. Loving another soul so unconditionally, and nurturing their souls to blossom into wings that will fly free...
Love to you on this journey.
You are amazing.