7 Jun

Most days, I wear it like an old, comfortable coat. It rests on my shoulders, a steady pressure that’s easy to bear. It is always there, in every fiber of my being. Some days it makes me feel weightless, invincible, like I can do anything. The strength it takes to bear this weight makes me stronger.

Other days I feel it acutely;  tension in my neck, pain in my back, a heavy film of worry and uncertainty about the future that I just can’t shake. I am never alone. I can never take a moment away from it. The pressure and strain of all that rests on my shoulders threatens to be too much to handle. The strength it takes to bear this weight makes me weak.

When it’s good, it is the most amazing thing I ever have done or ever will do. The emotion of it consumes me, overwhelms me, springs itself on me when I’m not ready for it.  It has brought me to my knees, tears springing unbidden to my eyes as I realize that I was born to do this. It is my purpose.

When it’s bad, it’s the hardest thing I ever have done or ever will do. I yell, cry, and want to give up. It has forced me, crying,  to a corner, with my hands over my ears, feeling more ashamed of myself than I ever have. Sometimes I just want to be myself again, to go back to life the way I remember it before. Before it got harder.

Motherhood. The ultimate contradiction of happiness and pain, of  guilt and pride.

I watch my heart and all that matters to me toddle around, fall, smile, cry, laugh, learn new things. I would give anything for my children to have a charmed life, but I can’t fix all the boo-boos and I can’t ensure a life free of heartache. Knowing that there is, inevitably, pain in their future, breaks my heart.

But I cannot force them into the shadow of my life, trying to protect them from the things that assailed me. There will just be something else waiting for them around the corner. They need their own adventures. They need to learn their lessons, make their mistakes and, like me, come out better for it all in the end.

All I can do is hope that the weight I bear for them now; the worrying, hoping, planning, teaching, providing, and most importantly, loving, is enough to lighten their burdens when I inevitably, painfully, let them go.


3 Responses to “Weight”

  1. Life of a Doctor's Wife June 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Oh the tears. This is so beautiful… Your kiddos are so very lucky to have you as their mom.

  2. Kat @ Living Like the Kings June 8, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    UGH I so feel ya. I read a VERY long time ago that having kids is like walking around with your heart outside of your body and I thought it was a sweet quote but, honestly, I didn’t get it. Until I had a baby. And now I can’t bare it! I’m torn between extreme pride of watching my little one become her own little person and wanting to stuff her back into my belly where she is safe, warm, and 100% protected.

  3. CathiC June 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    What a gorgeous post – you’ve truly captured the core of motherhood here. Your children are indeed lucky to have you as their mom!

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