Life is beautiful, we so often say. And isn’t it though, generally speaking? When babies are born – so beautiful, we say. A new life is beautiful. Look at the sunrise. Look at the sunset. A man died yesterday at the age of 98. He had a long, beautiful life, they said. What a beautiful family you have, someone told my husband last week. You look so beautiful, I tell my friend.
I love Roses. So much so that I named our second daughter, Roselie. They are just so simple and beautiful! They are strong and delicate, both at the same time. Strong enough to withstand the rain and the wind and the unsure thumb of a first-time home owner, but gentle enough to gift to your best friend who is losing her shit and thinking about selling her children. They are so easy. You can start trimming them back in the fall and when your one year old takes a much shorter nap than planned you can throw down the clippers and leave the rest until May. A rose doesn’t care; it’s easy and seamless and beautiful anyway.
Take all the beautiful from above, but slow it down to real time. Slow down the childbirth before that fresh baby squints at his mother for the very first time, back track through the pain, the fire, the sweat, white knuckling the bed rails, and you scream to yourself that you just can’t do it. And then further back to that first baby wiggle that felt like a little gold fish in your tummy and that magical realization that motherhood is imminent. Remember the fluorescent digital numbers that just kept rolling forward while your child was up all night, every hour, all the hours, before the quiet sunrise. Rewind the looooong day you just barely made it through before the sun sets into the evening. The man with the wonderful life was so much more than his eulogy. Ninety-Eight years of every days and all nights, so many full seasons and people and accomplishments and feelings and losses and loves. My family is beautiful, I agree so much, but did you know that years ago I bought a marriage self-help book called “Why am I even married to you?” And my friend is beautiful. She really, really is. Because when she lets her tank get completely empty, I see a mother who has filled every one of her child’s cups to the brim so they never have to know what it’s like to be thirsty.
You can broad paint brush that life is beautiful on a movie cover or a quick comment out of your mouth, because while life is, it’s formed by tiny little pixels. Small moments and feelings, precious like the first time a warm baby is laid across your chest. And less precious, like when your four-year-old dumps over your entire cart of groceries at Safeway. Like one of those pictures people print out of a happy moment but if you zoom in it’s a million tiny pictures that make up the whole.
All my babies are finally one and older, I mostly sleep at night (if nobody is barfing, or having a nightmare, or peeing the bed, or wondering what Jesus is doing right this second), and I’m starting to see things a little more clearly again in this life after newborns. I’m excited to break down this world’s beautiful and not so beautiful pieces with anyone who wants to read it. Welcome to my blog (finally Mom!)!!!