On a day which has the most vivid readings in honor of Mary's Queenship, we are frying dandelions and awaiting dinner guests. I'm embracing a new season of motherhood --- one with children who are old enough for conversation, projects and giggling over secret birthday gifts for their sister. It's like a gift, these girls with ease and independence where once squalling babies resided. As if I've been driving a battered Dodge Dart for years, who needed constant oil changes and anxious maintenance with unknown results --- now my tiring steed has morphed into some sleek new model with automatic windows and shiny paint. They can go to tea! We can paint, and plant flowers, and pluck eyebrows! (Don't ask.)
But the most gripping and beautiful part, which I rightly attribute to the clear teachings of the Catholic faith, is that I have more babies coming up behind them. ("I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for the fresh supply of two-year-olds", my husband once toasted me during dinner.) I'm frank about my general discomfort with babies, and it will probably never change. It doesn't matter. My 34-year old self is essentially the same as my 26-year old self who greeted her newborn with unwarranted confidence and utter bliss. I fully expected to have two children, no more. I never considered full-time motherhood a choice that appealed to me. I had my own Visitation moment, great with child, as I confessed not wanting to deposit my baby anywhere but home once he or she arrived. My husband, quotable as ever (he never remembers these swoon-worthy moments) answered my fairly sheepish admission with characteristic verve. "That's what makes this nation great." His words surprised me, since I'd heard that sort of platitude about plenty of pursuits, but nothing so common and accessible as raising children.
I can savor my 12-month old son all the more because I can see around the corners. I know what precious milestones are coming. It also minimizes the angst over seeing the older ones grow, since their development aids the family. We bloom together. These children belong to God, who in His infinite wisdom has plopped them down with us. As long as they're entrusted to us, may the wind continue to change direction once in awhile and remind us of the joys surrounding us in the fullness of time. That our Lord and Creator sought a human mother for Himself never ceases to humble me.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet. Indeed.