The autumn of motherhood

Day 15 — {FMF}

The trees in the forest beckoned me, and I went walking admiring the vast display of colors in their leaves.

I thought about what Sally Clarkson said in a recent podcast. She talked about the autumn of motherhood — the changing of color of the trees signal that the leaves are dying even as they are beautiful to look at. 

And as a mama I feel like there is a lot that is dying and I mourn. As the leaves fall and never to return to the tree, these days with my kiddos will never come back. The beautiful corridors of fall trees only last but a few weeks and soon all their beauty gives way to stark, leave-less trees. 

And maybe the days with my kiddos are a bit like that — a fleeting moment in eternity. I didn’t think they would when they were smaller and each day seemed to drag on with diaper changes,  messes to clean up and unending laundry piles. 

The path in the forest is covered with a carpet of fallen leaves and all around me I see their beauty. I pause and think of the moment I’m in. This moment when it seems like I’m the only one in the woods is a gift and I tried to capture it with my phone camera. But what the camera captures pales to the beauty that surrounds me and I continue on my walk. 

All three of my three kiddos were born in autumn just as I was. My heart overflowed with love and joy when each of them came into this world. Yes, the labor was painful but then came complete, utter joy. With my last one, I remember when in the wee hours after his birth, the nurse brought the little bundle to me and asked if I wanted to nurse him? I looked at the little black eyes peering at me in the quietness of the morning.

Why, of course! How could I turn away from such love. Lying there in the maternity ward with the little one pressed against my breast, I felt alive — so full of love. I so wanted to get it right — this calling of being a mama. 

That memory is etched in my mind — as are many other ones. Along the way I tried to remind myself — you only pass this way once. Embrace it. Be fully in it. The notes are all over my journal pages.

The seasons come and go and now I find myself in a harder season — harder than the days when they were little and I felt exhausted at day’s end. Now, it’s my heart that’s exhausted — watching my kiddos leave their childhood days and enter these teen years. 

And again, I remind myself — you only pass this way once. Embrace it. Be fully in it. See the beauty in the autumn of motherhood.

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