Where There Is A Place For Grace, Grace Shall Be Given
The couple moved swiftly across the street. Hands braided together like fine lace. She gripped his arm with her other hand at they turned to each other and shared a quiet giggle, their eyes smiling at one another as they stepped onto the broken sidewalk. I knew this look all too well. In fact I almost could feel the warmth of their embrace. The way my whole body warms and flutters when he looks and touches me just so. The light shone green above and my feet pressed the petals. Sigh.
Today is not a day filled with gentle kisses adorned on my neck, or hand lacing, unless you count my toddlers sticky milky fingers yanking at me as she tries to escape down the next aisle at the store. No, not today. Nobody's smiling at me with their eyes. No passion brewing underneath the innocent smirk and giggles that follow that look. I imagined the couple would continue to walk that way for the rest of their way home: hand in hand, and arm in arm. They'd probably get to their front door and kiss, or maybe they'd go inside and make love. Maybe she'd rest her head against his heart when they were done, his fingertips tracing her backbone gently?
I longed for that today. It's not often I do, with raising a toddler and being pregnant, lately most days I'm out-touched anyway. I have no desire for extra hands to touch me. But today was different. Today I missed him, and his touch. I missed those carefree moments of just him and I and taking our time down the street. No rush to get home for nap time, or to fix lunch for a tiny mouth. Just us and the time to feel really feel our love.
Some days I feel so on top of mothering, wife-ing, and even at peace and balance with my individual needs. Sometimes it's one or the other, and then there are days it's absolutely neither. And you know what? I'm learning that's okay. Where there is a place for grace, grace shall be given. I have learned to sway with the ebb and flow that is my life these days. Days, weeks, or months can go by and my focus is best in one spot and strong intent is placed there. Satisfaction is had by one of the many roles of play and I smile.
Yesterday I swayed to the music in the kitchen as I wiped my hands on the kitchen towel and then scooped up my sweet girl to place her atop my bulging belly. She laughed as we spun around the room. Aromas from dinner cooking in the oven filled the house. It was warm, cozy, and happy. It was the house I wished for her to remember her childhood as. He walked in and we greeted him. He slipped his hands around my waist and smiled at his girls. And for a moment before the chaos that is love and family and parenthood began again, we looked into each other's eyes and remembered something sweet about one another. Two tiny hands reached towards us, coaxing us to her side for a game of hide in seek. Our little love goes down easily. We end the day wrapped up in each other's arms. Talking and kissing, as if our heavy eyes aren't too tired from the day, entangled in a mess of bare legs brushing one another, and it's heavenly, this kind of love.
Sometimes I focus too much on the parts that are lacking, the places of loneliness or failure, resentment, and the big one, guilt. For me, the worst place of all, is a room of heavy thoughts that burden the soul and darken even the brightest of days. After all aren't these the days? One day she'll be grown and gone and there will be just plenty of time for myself. Some days those thoughts that overcome me ache in my bones. I frown.
Then there was today. I yelled again. My voice raised and shaking, I immediately wished for them back. My words came out jumbled and angry, and my heart broke at the look on her face, and as the words slipped off my tongue. They are hot and sting, just like the tears that stream down her face. I plead inside my head for just five minutes. Five whole minutes alone, to sit with my thoughts, or to shower. To brush my face with small silly things that helps me to feel pretty, to tidy up the mess that is scattered across the wood floor, or even thoughtfully choose something to wear instead of the quick stash of leggings and tank tops that sit in my top drawer. Guilt rides in. It is hateful and gloomy, and a thief of these days. I apologize and hold her close at bedtime. I go to sleep with fear that I've hurt her feelings and somehow weigh heavy in her heart.
Then there is tomorrow. I exhale. Where there is a place for grace, grace shall be given. I am thankful for a beautiful green-eyed girl who doesn't know how to hold a grudge. She wraps her arms around my neck and kisses me with her wet open-mouthed lips each morning just the same.
I am thankful for a husband that is my best friend and partner, not only my lover. He will be in our bed when the day comes to an end whether I am baggy eyed, touched-out and quick to fall asleep, or just as my head hits the pillow on our romantic nights where we stay up far past what good for us, entranced in one another.
And lastly I am thankful for the ability to allow myself this grace. To realize that this life is full of good days and not so good ones. There are days where I am brimming with love, goodness, and patience for everyone in my life. And there are days where I feel frazzled, flat out exhausted, and disconnected. I can recognize that life looks a whole lot different sometimes than the longings in my head or heart. While I don't have to give up on my dreams or desires, I do have to find a way to intertwine them in my day to day, and if not today, than tomorrow. And that is okay. There is always a tomorrow. Riding the waves of life, parenthood, motherhood, and adulthood is never simple, and I'll try my best to flow with the current as it comes, making way for grace along the way. Plenty of grace.
Journalist: Kylie Foreman