This was from a few weekends ago at Garden of the Gods. My husband snapped it from his phone and just showed me this week. It was the last really nice day before the cold and snow set in. It was a day that we woke up together as a family. It was a day that my little boy woke up, and I may not have even noticed how he changed, but knowing that he was somehow different. Maybe a bit taller; his fingernails now needed clipping, he’d be quicker on his feet–running around the furniture; he’d figure out the puzzle that I bought him; he’d be extra cuddly and need to be tucked in close to my heart. Each day he is different. And I am too.
Early in my pregnancy, I remember thinking that the whole world was different because of the child that was growing within me. Nothing was the same. Nothing would ever be the same again. I didn’t know at the time how true that would be. In both the romantic, idealistic way I had dreamed and the very real peeing with a baby sitting in your lap first thing in the morning kinds of ways. I didn’t know how differently I’d see the world–through his ever-curious eyes hungry to know “what’s this?” and “this” and “that”? I didn’t know I’d learn a new language, one without words. I didn’t know that language would shape the way I act and think and feel about everything.
Every day he changes. Every day the world around me is different. And every day I am changed.
I am a changed woman. Many of my patterns and habits and beliefs to which I had previously clung to so tightly have loosened their grip on me. Or rather, I’ve simply let them go. Additional baggage to carry is too much. I already carry this life–this precious life with me from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep. And then throughout the night as he shifts in his sleep to nurse or in dreams. The weight of this beautiful blessing that I am responsible forever for is enough on it’s own. And so, as my house builds up with stuff–blankets and toys and lovies and leaves and sticks and baby mittens, and bowls of snow, my heart empties itself of so many things.
Lately, I’ve been pouring over my curriculum materials from Institute for Integrative Nutrition since I’m coaching a group, and I came across a concept they have called the circle of life. Check it out:
So much has changed in the last few years since I have taken this. You’re asked to evaluate your life based on these aspects of health–seen holistically. In so many areas of my life, I’d categorize a component lower than I once did. Home cooking??? Always, but not to the extent I was before. Home environment? A big damn disaster. I used to be a neat freak. Relationships & social life? Outside of Aaron and Easton–pfff. Spirituality? No, I do not write to God everyday anymore. I pray in bursts, and I’m embarrassed about half of them. Unless you count nursing my crying child or changing his wet diapers as prayers. I do. Finances? Muah ha ha ha. Don’t even get me started on what’s different there.
But for all that’s different, that’s lowered or less, the Joy? More. So so so much more. Every day he changes. Every day my world is altered and awesome. Every day I am undeniably refined. Purer of heart, and my heart is so very full of joy.