“So goodnight, my moonlight bayyyybee. Rockabye sweet baby Brehm. Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose, won’t you let me go down in your dreams. And rockabye sweet baby Brehm.”
We rocked, he and I. In the chair that I’ve rocked each one of them in. And I pieced together the words, like I do almost every time we rock. He doesn’t care if they’re the right ones. He only cares that I’m there with him. So I just sing whatever comes to mind. Usually to the notes of James.
I thought about our day. From start to finish. I thought about how the beginning of the day had me slamming my fists on the breakfast table in complete frustration. A reaction to the third shrill scream of the morning. And how thankful we all were for a chance to reset the day after the false start.
I thought about he and I, and where we’ve been together. From him in my belly. To the present day. And I thought the same of his brothers. And how I’ve become just as they have. That it took time for me to become a mother.
I started out without a clue. And I’m not so sure that I have much more now. But I am so much more secure in my motherhood than I was when I began. Even though I still lose my shit. And on some occasions, obliterate my level of patience. And question if we are helping them to best become the very best of them that we can. Every chance we get. Even with all that… I am certain, I am more secure. I thought about our families… healthy parents, happy siblings. I thought about our friendships that have cemented over time. And about the fact that even after the rain, we get to see the sunshine.
I sang. I rocked. And I realized… Oh my goodness. I think we’re here.
People are always talking about the sweet spot. The spot where it all gels. Where your children are old enough to basically parent themselves but not yet old enough to think you are the worst. Where it feels easy. But I think the truth very well could be as I told a friend yesterday, “I actually think the sweet spot might actually come right before the sweet spot.”
You see, there’s something sweeter than sweet about these children still needing me in such a way that I feel pulled on each day, without feeling utterly pulled apart. There’s something about still having one to rock, while having an oldest that will still sit in my lap, and one in the middle that will allow both. There’s this thing about watching as all three play Legos together in one room, while I strum the guitar and having no grumblings about all of us coexisting in one space. Or looking on as they watch a movie together and scrounge through their popcorn bowls for the coveted M&Ms. Or seeing them play in the sand, each with their head down, focused on the greatest masterpieces of their day. There’s this thing about where we are. Because we’re here, I think. In this imperfect spot that I assume is right before the sweet spot. In what very well could be the very best spot of all.
These children of ours are still a handful. They still have tantrums, on the regular. They still need us to attend to many of their needs. They’re messy. And have much to learn. But they are each independent enough to do so much more on their own than we have been used to for some time. I am still frazzled. And forgetful. And our house is still in disarray. But I am more content as a mom than I’ve ever known how to be. I am so much more present than I ever gave thought to being in the past. I am so much more where I want to be. And the hubs can actually make it through a day of work without me calling him to tell him how many hours a baby cried. And so, there is so much beauty to where we are. To being here.
What if we’re spending so much time in our lives attempting to arrive… attempting to get there when really, we’re already here? What if this moment is the sweet spot and we totally miss it as we set our eyes ahead in the journey? Or if it isn’t the sweet spot but in its own ways, it’s just as magnificent?
These boys of mine will continue to grow. Some days we will like each other. Some days we won’t. And somedays, we will feel like we barely survived each other. But there will come a day, I am nearly certain, that I will recall these times and think fondly of the sweet spots — the rocking. the laughter. the snuggles. the freedom. — and know that those things were some of the sweetest that life will allow. Not perfect. Not flawless. Not without stress or frustration. But sweet, just the same.
He let me rock him. And sing. And rub his feet. Then he sat up, looked straight into my eyes, placed his lips on mine, and then snuggled his head sideways into the crook of my neck. And snuggling him right back, I whispered, “yep. We’re here, harr. I think we’re here.”
And it was sweet.