The writing on the walls, it’s orange and pink and blue
I come home to find the evidence of you
Are you some kind of sacred spirit?
Come to show me
God with my own face, oh
Are you some kind of magic mirror?
Come to show me
God in time and space, oh
Lyrics from “Magic Mirror” by John Mark McMillan
When I found out I was pregnant, I started making a list. A list full of the things I would do when I was no longer pregnant. Things like; ride rollercoasters, rock climbing, go tubing, train for a long race(ha!), etc. It was in a moment where I felt so claustrophobic, so trapped, with the idea of my youth ending and having to be conscientious of a dependent entrusted to me.
This list included places I would visit, things I would do, experiences to be had, and new skills to be learned.
At the time, I thought “this is normal. I want to do things that I can’t right now, and I don’t want to forget to experience these things before I am pregnant again, if that is to happen”
What I didn’t know, is even this small act of making a list was the first step in a series of steps. A journey of mourning a season that wouldn’t return and yet looking forward to all that is still to come. A journey of putting away some desires of my youth and my self-ness to allow another to enter into youth(infancy really), and learn about selflessness.
“You sacrifice your youth on your children…We either choose to do this for them, or they do it for us…So much of you is laid upon the alter…”
A process not a lot of people told me about. I was told about what to expect in labor. How sleeplessness nights are just a season. Babies don’t keep, so love on them well. Time flies, be sure to be cherishing your little one.
No one told me about the transformation I was about to endure, emotionally and mentally.
I wasn’t told about the moments where I would want to run from all responsibility for a moment where no one needed me. No one told me about the moments where I felt like I wasn’t good enough to be my son’s mother. No one told me how many opinions everyone has about, well everything really. I wasn’t told how the main conversation for the first year would be about his development; is he sleeping? is he crawling? is he a good eater?
I also wasn’t told about how much transformation one little boy could bring to me. I am relearning patience and playing. I am changing my vocabulary to coach and encourage him through moments where he is frustrated or angry. I am praising God for his health every single day. I am becoming more passionate about women’s health and justice than ever before. I am seeing God reflected as a nurturing mother figure, and not just as an authoritative fatherly figure.
“They teach us a new way to see the world, ourselves, and God.” (John Mark McMillan)
The transformation wasn’t all at once. It still hasn’t finished. I know I will be experiencing transformation at each stage of development. If there are to be more kids in our household, each one of them will transform me in their own ways at many different times.
Besides my relationship with my best friend and husband, I have never experienced something so impactful as motherhood and I absolutely LOVE the adventure of being a mama to my sweet boy.
I will end with a bit of an article I stumbled upon here
Athan likes to compare matrescence to the classical hero’s journey of literature. The protagonist is called upon, willingly or unwillingly, to embark upon an adventure, a journey. She faces many difficulties and trials along the way, but ultimately emerges victorious, and returns home with a new way of looking at the world, having grown from her experience.
“You hear the call, and the adventure is not going to be an easy one,” she says. “It’s really the moment when a mother psychologically conceives that she’s a mother, and it might not be an ‘a-ha’ moment. Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s when you bring the baby home from the hospital, or your adopted child lands in your arms. Other times, it’s more of an unfolding of the responsibilities, and that is where the mother confronts, in that kind of heroic sense, what is really being asked here. And that’s where I think each of us individually has to embark on that alone.”