For the last four days, I have carried in my hand the clutch on the left. Bright salmon independence that announces to the world: “She’s traveling without kids.”
Only, this evening I returned home.
To my husband. To my children. To my “mom bag."
No, my kids aren’t drinking bottles or wearing diapers anymore, but that satchel is filled daily with responsibility:
The single strap wraps around my entire person, and sometimes it feels hard to breathe.
Anxiety, stress, and unending duty threaten to squeeze all of the joy out...and, if carried too long, my back cries out in anguish.
And, yet, this week I missed the unattractive, stained bag that brands me in this season as “mom."
For when I tote just my money, my license, and my phone:
I can’t feel a little hand slip into my own.
I can’t feel a little hand tug for water.
I can’t feel a little hand count my moles.
And I realize the distance is not just physical, but emotional.
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Tonight, as I tucked my kids into bed, I sensed that the littleness has been leaving more these days.
Bodies are growing.
Minds are expanding.
Hearts are letting go...in their time.
But I think that’s the beauty of motherhood:
We carry our children.
Then, we carry their things.
And, all along, it is God who carries us.
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