Wednesday, October 30, 2013

the mantle

I should have written this two days ago.

Two days ago I experienced an incredibly powerful moment. Ten full minutes of divinity amidst the human experience. I fear I'm not going to give it enough justice two days later after a heavy does of toddler-raising and real life. But....but if I don't try... then it may be remembered not as a distinct moment from the heavens, but a blurry memory. Memories fade in this tired brain, but moments are easier to recall and oftentimes define or refine.

On Monday nights we try to have family night (FHE for the Mormon crowd.) This week we decided to keep it simple with some kissing tag and hide & go seek (along with the song/prayer/treat combo.) EZ loves these games and it's quality time to simply play together without telling him to "stop running" or "get over here" or "sit down" or "don't touch that" or or or the incessant list of commands that often accompany parenthood. So we played. We kissed and laughed and chased and if anyone was watching from the outside it probably would have made them gag and smile at the beauty of our hallmark evening. With two rounds left of a vigorous hide & go seek game, EZ spun around on the floor and sprinted across the living room with gusto on his way to the dining room curtains (his notorious hiding spot, mind you.) Matt heard him slip and then a big boom followed. EZ had tripped and smacked his head right into the wall (narrowly avoiding the corner, thankfully!) Blood immediately followed and it dripped down his face and into his eyes. Matt and I sprung into action with soothing voices and brave faces as we applied pressure and then decided our course of action. His forehead had split open (at least an inch long) but it didn't appear too deep, so once the bleeding calmed down we dismissed stitches and had grandpa David guide Matt's steady hand with butterfly band-aids as aunt Melina sent essential oil recommendations. He was bathed and bandaged and very tired after the ordeal, so I read him books as we started the bedtime routine.

I tucked his feet with his green blanket (soft side up) and did it again when it came undone (tuck my feet, mommy!) He clutched his blue elephant in his right hand and spooned my 22 week baby belly on the left side since he can no longer sit comfortably in the middle. Matt came in one more time and checked band-aids and gave kisses, and then we continued reading books. The normal routine is warm milk,  4-5 books in the rocking chair, then we move to the bed where we sing songs as he drifts off. But after the milk was drunk and the books were read, EZ rolled over from my left side directly onto my chest and said sing songs, mommy. He wasn't ready to stop cuddling, and frankly after that kind of night neither was I. So I rubbed his back and felt his body drift heavily to sleep in my arms. Two songs in his breathing steadied and I could tell he was out, so I sat and rocked in silence. He's well over thirty pounds these days, but the pressure on my body felt nice. Not so heavy to upset his baby brother inside, but more like a weighted blanket that smelled good and drooled a little.

And there I sat for ten minutes. I've never before felt the mantle of motherhood so directly. I know I've felt it throughout the last two years, as there have been many moments of awe and magnitude as I've learned my way into this role, but that night was bigger. The baby inside was gently kicking and moving about as his older brother gently pressed his body weight into mine. Our breathing synchronized and slowed. All was still. Two boys cradled in my arms as my third boy waited for me at the kitchen table. This was the most important thing that I could have possibly been doing. This is mine. My God-given, gloriously hard, incredibly tender mantle. A few tears of gratitude slipped from my eyes as I thanked heavenly parents for the gift of children. The gift of family. The opportunity of experience, the capability of growth. For making my heart strong, and my soul stronger.

For Matt. For EZ. For another baby.
This is mine.


  1. This was lovely. I especially adored this sentence... "All was still. Two boys cradled in my arms as my third boy waited for me at the kitchen table."

  2. Well this was just too much for my emotional, pregnant heart. All the tears. You're such a good mama.

  3. This is so, so beautiful Carla.

  4. Oh how I miss the conversation that we would have had about this. As well as all the other thought- provoking and inspiring conversations I have had with you. Must call you more, you wonderful woman!

  5. I needed this. Sometimes being a mom is so challenging we forget what's really important. Thanks for reminding me.

  6. So I just found your blog through instagram somehow and have been reading for a good 45 min. Let me paint you a little picture....I started reading as I fed my 2 month old and rocked her to sleep. I'm now huddled in bed with a pillow over my head so the light of my phone doesn't wake up the sleeping husb. But I can't stop reading! Then I get to this post and now here come the tears! I'm your newest blog stalker.