bottoms in the air
it wasn’t long ago, was it, that i was the mama, leaning in, looking into the sleeping place of my little one?
it wasn’t long ago, i swear, that i was the mama whose chest heaved a heart-filled sigh, that whirl of thanks for peace at last, peace short-lived, that rush of knock-me-over, make-me-wobbly love, that is the motherlove of a mama looking down on her restful, dreaming child.
bliss be ours, the ones with babies napping.
the baby isn’t mine this time. she’s my ella girl. my faraway love, the one i watch grow up through pictures, frames that sometimes nearly burst through my computer screen they are so filled with the lifeforce that is ella.
ella’s mama sent me this just the other day, and at once i was there, leaning over the rails of the crib my boys never once took to.
and yet, in the same swirl and whirl of heart and breath, it made me realize my days of leaning in, of breathing, catching breath while the baby sleeps, those days are gone for me……
and it made my chest pound hard, and heaviness drop down around my shoulders.
how swift the timeline sweeps. how soon we’ve made it past the days we thought would never end, the chasing and the diapers and the naps that won’t be taken, and the endless and sometimes sisyphean upside-down and inside-out repetition of the tasks.
but then, suddenly–and much beyond nearly all my peers, the ones who now show me pictures of their grandbabies, while i tend to spelling lists and the tying of shoelaces–i find i’ve passed the days i dreamed of. the days so sweet. so long and short at once.
i am now one rung out on the circle of new life. i stand behind the mamas young and fumbling. the ones trying to sort it out, make sense. the ones who stumble, cry, and wring their hands.
i am the silver-haired auntie, even if that hair is rumpled, wild, and most often unruly.
i’m caught short, my breath is too, by the finding out that life has passed in frames i can’t re-spool in real time.
from now on, the bottoms in the air, and the up and down of dozing babies’ chests, will be not ones that are mine to chase, to scrub, to know of every bump and rash.
i am slipping from that rare illuminated spot on the centerstage of life, the one where we move so fast we sometimes miss the poetry.
here i stand now, looking in on the ones who look in on their sleeping babes.
and from here, though, i feel the full force of the literature of life, as the chapters of my past come swirling at me, and in the distance that’s now mine, i discover stanzas and truths that once escaped me as i strained to merely catch my breath.
this time, looking in on the ones who look in, i am bathed in the tender wholeness of it all. and for that, despite the twinge and ache of grasping back through time, i know that i am blessed for having been there.
God bless the mamas, full of heart and wonder, as they strain to catch their breath.
a wee muse on moving on. as all around me this week i was filled with news of babies born, and babies reaching milestones, or simply snapshots of babes doing what they do so finely. and all of it made me miss those days, so long and not so long ago……
do you ache sometimes for the days, the hours, the moments, that have slipped away?
a bit of housekeeping: i’ve been washed over with a sense lately that i might need to pause my typing here sometime soon. i feel i’ve said plenty, and it might be time for quiet. i’m torn, of course. but this table has always honored seasons, and i am wondering if the season of quiet is upon me……
finally, a most blessed happy birthday to the mother of the bride out arizona way…..pjv, here’s to you, darlin. xoxoxo
p.s. i have come back to the table to take extra care of my most blessed little one. i have shrunken the snapshot above and blurred the edges, so you still might feel a touch of the innocence, the pure pang of heart i felt as i peeked in on her napping, but she is wrapped, i hope, in a blanket of safety. i want nothing less for my sweet one and those in whose arms she is cradled.
BAM dear, whatever you decide, listening to your heart is what’s most important. This you already know; I say it just to remind, as you prayerfully consider. Though I’ve been late to arrive at the table, it has been a great blessing.
You need to do what is best for you.
With hugs …
Friday, January 22, 2010 – 03:12 PM
I wanted to lean in and smell that baby….what memories! I also did chuckle because one of my Grown Children (21years, no less) fell asleep recently and slept for 24 hours! I found myself slipping in and leaning over and looking and listening for breathing. Since he was in the room he had as a baby….well the memories washed over me then too.
I hope you have this picture of Ella up somewhere to remind you of the past and future.
As to seasons….well turn, turn, and turn again dear bam. The journey has never-ending beginnings and endings and beginnings. I believe all of us at the table will continue to find each other along the path at different points because serendipity is like that and we are faith filled group by nature.
Blessings on your memories and dreams as you look to the turn….
And Happy Birthday pjv – hope that Arizona sun is shining!
Friday, January 22, 2010 – 11:33 PM
dearest chair folk, to clarify i’ve not made any decisions, just saying that i keep feeling tugged to be quiet….i also just discovered the beauty of that little RSS thingie somewhere up there. it’s like a magic button, and if you sign up for it (some of you might already know all this, and do it on many blogs….) you just get either notified, or a copy of the newly-posted blog dropped into your mailbox. how cool is that? that way whenever there were stirrings at the table, you’d know….which might be a lovely way of writing when there is something compelling to say, and being quiet when there is not. it might allow an organic rhythm, although it takes away the regularity of knowing that on fridays there is something new…just thinking it over…..i type so very much on workdays i sometimes feel all typed out by week’s end. but then some end-of-weeks i relish sitting down and typing from my heart…….oh, well, we’ll see where this winds…..but that RSS might be a nifty solution……i’ll do some exploring….till then, carry on,….
Saturday, January 23, 2010 – 07:04 AM
oh, bam, i do ache for those days with our babies. even though the present days of loving and living with our older babies are filled with amazement and joy and love, well. . . there was nothing, absolutely nothing like the moments of looking at your baby asleep so beautifully like miss ella. i have become one of those older moms who just get so excited for the young mommys and their babies and their stories. my teenagers now tell me ok, enough staring at the moms and the babies whenever we are out. i guess that is why the next phase will be adoring those grandchildren of ours. . .
Saturday, January 23, 2010 – 10:10 AM
LOVE that little bottom in the air. What a wonderful photo. Love that baby. Seeing as one of my life’s main ambitions has always been to be a grandma (I have no idea why I’ve wanted this since I was very young), I hope the Lord so blesses me. But till then, I really love seeing, holding, smelling, and kissing to bits other people’s babies.
As for this baby, your blog, well, it too has had its life phases, this little creation of yours, and has given us all so much, and each other, and if it has served its whole span then it has had a good life well lived. Only you listening to your heart can tell if it is time for silence. Cause you sure as heck know what the rest of us would say.
PJV, happy day! May your new year on the planet be filled with new joys.
Saturday, January 23, 2010 – 09:17 PM
Oh my but she’s smoochilicious in all of her perfect pinkness … my babies slept like that … bottoms up with toes tucked under so it brings back the sweetest memories of leaning into the crib just to stand and stare … and her beautiful head of barely-there hair even looks like my babies …
dearest bam … I understand seasons – I’m in a new one right now. This table has brought people to a place of grace, peace and beauty. I’m pulled from every side these days it seems and there are times when having a time of quiet is necessary for my very sanity. Yes, every Friday I look forward to what’s new here, but I also respect the fact that it took time and effort to put the words on the screen. Let’s put it this way … it’s the ‘what’ you write and not so much the ‘when’ you write. Your words are weighty and rich … I will take whatever I can whenever I can here and if the RSS thingie is the way to go … sign me up! I’m probably your biggest fan (although many would say they are and yes, I know, you’re not in this to gain fans … you’ve been given a gift and gifts are meant to be given away).
Thanks for the birthday blessings … it was a sweet day. And yes, lamcal, the sun peeked thru a few scant times. The northern AZ weather has been quite rowdy here of late. Love to all.
Sunday, January 24, 2010 – 09:26 AM
when i spied that little miss on the page sleeping peacefully, bottoms up…i thought for sure you made it to Maine! I have so often tried to come on here, but in the deep northeast, i have little air time-the satellite connects mostly round 4 am. no fire to speak of, my first important mission of the day is to build it-by the time the flame is at hand, the air time is over…i said i wanted to live in the lap of no conveniences, so often we get what we wish for! babes, yes. all my life, a mother i am, now from a million miles away it seems, i nurture via facebook, but the voices i miss are busy growing and schooling…independent each and every one. here i am so far away, counting my blessings, you being one of them and read your heart. as you say, you may contemplate more and type-type less. my fervent dream, a selfish one- is that i might find you at book signings here and there, for the stories you tell, the way you see it all through the eyes in your heart. i vow to hold onto that dream and wish it. your telling is like thread, gathering all the “calico” folks together…so! with my blessing do take your leave if only to leave your mark amongst the pages one can hold in their hands, thumb through, dog ear it up. now with that mighty wishful push- i’ll take my leave (soon you’ll have that letter in your windy city hands…) come to maine, come to maine…the words form here like clouds. take care-
(fyi-i’ve tried for 3 days to post that comment…whew!)
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 – 06:42 AM
preach it sister!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 – 04:14 PM
The RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed is how “daily meanderings” have been zipping into my Outlook email inbox since April. The subscription link is on the daily meanderings page just to the right of the chair picture at the top. Use Internet Explorer — I use Google Chrome, and the subscription link doesn’t work with that browser. This way I know when a new writing appears.
BAM, you know we all are on your side. My prayer is that you will stay as open as you always are when you write, to hear that voice, whether it is telling you to write less frequently, on a different schedule, or to be quiet for awhile. You know well from all your caretaking that if the caretaker is not well tended to, it affects all. The old “if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” kinda thing. Tend to your soul in whatever way you need. We’ll all be right here, cheering for you. xo
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 – 08:23 PM
bless your beautiful hearts. each and every one of you, from maine, sister, to the park of hyde to wherever the rest of you read and type or don’t type. maybe that RSS is all i need, so you’ll know if you care to when i land in your box, and otherwise you’ll just come round when the spirit moves you. silly me, just now figuring out that all this time there’s been a way for me to write when moved and sit one out if similarly so moved. oh, true, i love your dream, but even more i love your calico folk. if that’s what we be, well then how happy i am to know it……
just feelin grateful is what i am right now……
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 – 09:38 PM