a love story: how we learn to wade in the water
How We Learn to Wade in the Water
Four months into parenting, Seth and I learn how to really give, to make room just as we begin to think we have none to make. Evening, I stand bouncing teething baby on my jutted hip. I open curtains, the day bending navy, and I wait for the rock-crackle of the driveway, for the car lights, for him to walk in, for the baby to lean into stronger arms. He comes with no break but a song on the drive from work, and I crack my back and then hide in the laundry room, unartisticly collapsed at my desk like a bag of sand pouring – we, in a stage of pouring.
We now are both in constant thirst, water glasses lining our little house, all to be hand-washed. We’re learning small capacity, how to stack at the sink, how to fold baby clothes into drawers with notebooks.
And again, we love, have to learn the Mother-shaped body, the lawyer tired, the timing, how it holds together, by prayer, by small touch, by little acts – a dropper of tylenol in the night. And in the rare, somehow, again, two pink lines on a pregnancy test. They will be 14 months apart, and we daze through two months of shocked happy face. The Little Parents Who Could: I think I can I think I can I think I can. The bewildering excitement, the work to keep nursing, always drinking, ever being filled, and I begin to bleed.
I double in the floor over stacked pillows while Isaac rolls and laughs, the dog strangely aware of his charge, and I pour out and moan in grief. Back to back, my third and my fourth babies go this way, unexpected, great heart treasures lifted up to the Father, accepted to that throne room, where the sound is awe, where angels flesh out waving wings and covering eyes. They go there straight.
As helplessly grieved as we’ve ever been in the giving, we have never delighted more, never realized more how nothing is ours. We walk into God fountain, swept into Peace River, and we steep long there. We understand our control in the matter, and we give, and our hearts stretch out like wine skin, capacity for two more, without ever having them fill our arms.
Oh, how we hold each other, and we don’t talk much about it – how we spill out like carried cups, how even in death, we brim with life.
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