A Splendid Prison

on 12 June 2013

My Girl has been sick for the past week.  It's just a cold, but since she's so spicy and independent, it's been worrisome to see her so droopy and clingy.  I suppose that's the spoiled mother of embarrassingly healthy children speaking.

She wasn't impossible to please, she was quite content to sit on my lap or be held in my arms, but if I had the audacity to put her down to, oh, I don't know, cook or clean or BATHE, then weeping and wailing would commence.

And because my kids are not often sick, it makes for a hard week when they are.  I sit a lot, and hold them a lot, and spend a disproportionate amount of time and energy and thought into calming them and trying to pacify them.  It was made harder by the fact, that the babies only ever want ME when they're sick.  Chris wants to be helpful, but my Girl would literally burst into tears if he dared to hold her instead of me, so it's oftentimes just easier for me to do all the nursing.

One day, while sitting in the rocking chair and rocking my pitiful girl, I was feeling a little sorry for myself, and feeling like this was a little like prison.  I couldn't move, I couldn't do anything, I couldn't even eat without having her on top of me.  And I looked down at her little face, laying against my shoulder, thumb in mouth (just like I had done as a small child), and I thought, "ok, it's a little like prison, but what a splendid prison."

I suppose this is the aspect of mothering that most women resent and rebel against.  That they are so very needed and that in spite of willing husbands, children are so very tied to their mothers.  And perhaps it's this resentfulness that leads a lot of women to seek for an escape.  I can understand that, I really can.  On the really loud days, I still fantasize about having an office with a door I can close.  But time has been making a fool of me again.  My once small boy, is growing long and gangly and Bold (which is strange for him), and my Girl...she too is growing long and lean, and I look at the Boy as a vision of things to come.  I know that this is a season.  And it's a season that is passing quickly.

I just don't want to see my children leave home and look back at their childhood with regret, that I didn't spend enough time with them, that I didn't let them love me, or worse, that I didn't love them the way they needed me to do.  And so I willingly surrender to this splendid prison, because I know that someday the doors will be thrown open and I'll look around and wonder why everything is so quiet.


Brett M said...

Love this. I've been thinking the same things lately.

And sorry little one was sick!

Cel and JP said...

Amen. I've been thinking about this, too. Thank you for putting it into words for me.