Written by Reagan Brendle
Those little fall apart moments. They visit us in a multitude of ways. When we are gratefully exhausted, and emphatically depleted. When we are contemplating whether those words we unfurled in frustration will mar their perfect spirits forever, or just so awestruck that we can love these tiny people so much. They bloom and swoop around us unexpectedly; in the car when we're already late, when we've had a brusque exchange with our spouse, and voices are grappling for snacks, and the stuffed animal they've left behind, and songs we've chiseled deep grooves into thousands of times.
They come in the evening, when we've already stretched, and poured, and transformed ourselves, tried our best to fold truth into that precious current of questions, and the glinting possibility of rest is a mirage because they can't go to sleep. When we abandon our half-finished grocery lists to find a place to nurse, and wrestle reluctant fierceness into bathtubs. When we know we should just crouch at that red table in the sunlight, but first we have to make one necessary phone call, and when we're finished, that bright, wavering minute has been eclipsed by something else. When we feel the threads that cinch us together splitting, and dissolving into unnamed splintering because we have to leave them, however briefly, in the arms of another. Those little fall-apart moments.
Those moments when we question if the way motherhood has shape-shifted, and purified, and awakened us is the right way. If this thing we are carrying, this powerful, and real, and heavy, and mystical gem that swings loosely around our necks yet presses deeply into our chests, should be entrusted to us.
Let's be careful with how we speak to ourselves in these moments. These moments that quiver around us in days that are swimming in a lifetime of emotion. Let's be gentle. We can absolutely love our kids, but not absolutely revel in every task of parenting. We can ache at how their laughter is always an unassuming shout, or how they still hold just one finger when they reach for our hand, but we can be punctured in defeat when struggling to retain a cacophony of limbs in a car seat.
We are all in the deep down dirt of something. It lets us know we're alive. That we're growing. No one is simply gliding along.
And then there are those moments; the ones where we are building a fort in the living room, plunging into a well of our own childhood memories, their full moon faces squished against ours, and the entire world radiates a soundless brilliance. The moments where we know we are braided into this incredible privilege of planting love and not knowing what it is going to grow into. And even if we sometimes feel afraid, and unqualified, and unfinished, what we are doing is not wasted.
So if you happen to witness another woman in the midst of one of those tangled cracks in time where perhaps her doubt is unfastened, and she is bending towards those 'never-enough' fears, gift her a smile, or a word. Hold out a mirror of Morse code that tells her she is not alone. Because it is the most beautiful and terrifying thing to be the person that a small body turns to when entering a room, and loving them perfectly is not a prerequisite.