ROUTINE | LE JOURNAL
une pause, une petite parcelle de la vie routinière. un moment, une respiration. c'est comme une photo. ça marque. merci, elisa elliot pour cet article sensible.
Those first days after we brought you home will be etched in my mind, always. In my clearest memories of that time, I am rocking you, in your room lit only by the stained-glass fish nightlight lovingly selected before your arrival, and you are fast asleep on my chest. As I admire your parted lips, as I count each of your eyelashes, stroke your downy earlobes, and inhale the top of your pulsing head, I make a promise to you then and there that I would do anything for you.
Aurelia, our golden-haired girl,your arrival ignited a fire in me that I never knew existed. It cracked my heart open, and my love and a deep need to protect you invaded every inch of my being. It has never left. I can't explain it more than becoming your mother was the single most transformative experience of my life. Never before had I felt both so empowered and vulnerable all at once. I doubt anything again will ever come close.
Fast-forward to yesterday. There you were, just-turned seven years old, gangly limbs, boney shoulders, in your favourite pyjamas, standing in front of me, and asking, with all sincerity why I can't play with you right now, why I am always working around the house. My first instinct was to get mad, to feel insulted by what I felt at that moment was your lack of appreciation of everything I have done for you over these last seven years. I didn't say anything, but my mind started spewing off a list of household chores , endless excuses, sacrifices that I have made. All for you.
And yet now. In the quiet of the night, now that your breathing has shifted, and a blanket of silence has draped itself over our home, save for the soft humming of the refrigerator, your simple words come back to haunt me. It must be written somewhere that it is wrong of me to think these things. To admit that being a parent can be wondrous, and fulfilling, and also painful and challenging. Now, all I can think of are of all the ways I am failing you, how my imperfections will surely scar you for life. How you trust me so deeply, when most of the time, let's be honest, I am just winging this thing called parenthood, when all the other mothers around me seem to know what they're doing, and probably have a delicious recipe for endives, know a great acupuncturist, and make their beds. Every.Single.Day.
But then, we will wake tomorrow, and start our morning routine. You will stumble into the kitchen, bleary-eyed, as I pour myself that first cup of coffee. Without a word, we will greet each other with a hug. You will sit at the kitchen table, in silence, still holding your treasured stuffed toy raccoon, caped in the afghan you dragged from your bed. You won't notice when I look at you, how I examine the way the sun is hitting your tangled hair just so and creating a glow around you, or how I admire how you look so much like your daddy in the morning. Then, as I spread peanut butter on your toast, you will look over at me, the morning fog finally lifted from your eyes, and as though you know exactly what I need to hear, you will tell me in your own words, that you love me so, so much, that if I were someone else's mom you would look at them with envy and wish I were yours.
And we begin again.