Monday, July 30th, 2012...9:35 pm

These Tears Need A Name

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The tears spring up on me. I watch Miles pull his little lion around in circles, toddling, holding the blue string in his hand, and my eyes suddenly fill and feel warm. Nora cries, throws herself down on a chair to wallow in her pain or her tantrum and Miles runs to her and tries to kiss her. And the tears arise, filling my eyes just to the edges. Nora sits and tells me story, of princesses and witches, of princes and fairies. She asks questions about what it means to grow up. And they are there, suddenly, threatening to spill over the edge.

In those days when Nora and Miles first lay in my arms, in the first days that I knew them outside of myself, the tears would come. Those postpartum, hormonal tears. Tears that arose with no warning, with no explanation, and then were, for me, usually gone just as quickly. Those tears have a name, a name I can’t think of right now. But the tears I almost cry each end-of-summer, the tears I almost cry as the simple moments of summer jump out in front of me and announce the end of my time to just sit and appreciate them. Those tears have no name.

I’m lucky. Summer comes and I get to relearn my kids all over again, in a whole new way, in an all day every day way. I get to learn in the school of motherhood, the school of Miles and Nora, of Nora and Miles. I get to go to the pool, explore the splash pads, talk Nora through new experiences, travel, marvel at the new language that they both speak, watch as they learn each other, as they love each other, as they become friends.

I’m lucky. In the summer I have the time and space to be a mother only. To rejoice in slow mornings with no deadlines, to watch them sleep peacefully after tiring themselves out playing outside, to read books, to have dance party after dance party after dance party.

But then my luck runs out and I head back to my other world – the world where I balance motherhood with work, with the lessons of other children, of other parents, of other teachers.

I sit in this in between world for a few weeks – the world where I mourn the passing of summer, where the sudden onset of tears surprises me even though I’ve been here four times before now, where I try to remind myself that life in the other world is pretty darn good too. The dance parties don’t end, I remind myself. The playing, the hugs, the new words, the love. It doesn’t end with summer, with the ringing of the school bell. I am still their mother. All day every day. I am still in love with them beyond words all day every day.

I got to spend eight weeks buried in my children, steeped wholly in the world of motherhood. This year I dug in deep, got comfortable. And I’m having a hard time (as usual) digging myself out.

These photos were taken by Christie Stockstill. Aren’t they awesome?!


Linking up with Heather at The Extraordinary Ordinary for JustWrite
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