Many have asked and I haven’t known how to answer. What it’s like to have a one-year-old? Well, how much time do you have? And let me find my water-proof mascara.
Because it’s like I birthed my whole lump-sum heart and he takes up more space in the world every day.
Like I so eagerly wanted to meet him outside of me, but every time I hold him I know he’ll always belong inside, always be mine.
And I’ve never known so wide a stretch in my soul before motherhood. I think that’s why it hurts.
Because there’s a physical pain that comes with putting him down for one more nap, getting him up for one more morning, singing him droopy-eyed one more time.
Somewhere between my ribcage and my belly-button, but further back and all-consuming, there’s an actual ache because I love him too much and not enough and he’s perfect but time refuses to slow even by a millisecond.
How can a woman feel so rent in two and so whole and so full but so empty all at once? How did this cavern that is my soul become so wide and deep and high? And how does this one tiny-but-growing human at once stretch me to the max yet leave me desperate for more?
More. There has to be more.
Because I know just as deep down that if he’d let me hold him close and kiss his nose and smell his hair all day, every day, for all the rest of the days, it would not be enough.
And I know just as surely that brothers and sisters are not the right kind of “more.” They’ll likely only stretch me out further, heart, soul, mind, body, and grocery list.
In a way, I always feared a child would take up the throne inside my heart, ousting Jesus in one fell swoop. Little did I know how wrong I was.
Rather, it’s like this tiny man runs around inside my heart, blissfully beating on every wall I thought was stretched far enough. With every laugh, every tear, every guttural utterance of unintelligible glory, James is beaming soul-expanding Truth that changes me.
Look, Mom! I’m too good to be all there is!
He’s not making my heart overflow
so much as he’s making it overgrow.
A gift too perfect to be the end, a treasure too priceless to not come from a greater wealth. He’s not taking up all the room, but he’s turning on the lights in rooms I never knew were there and rolling out the welcome mat for my Maker and all the others He loves.
And so it is that the pain of his passing baby days is really the throne where King Jesus sits. And as soon as I realize that motherhood aches because Jesus aches so much more for me, that’s when I love them both to the deepest, truest parts of me.