today on the beach*
little girl on beach, canon digital rebel xti
Today my husband and I decided to take a little stroll at a nearby beach. It was blanketed with people both big and small. Its always the small ones that I just can't seem to stop myself from watching; Little cherubs running towards the shore, pig-tailed girls covered in sand while building their castles, a father and son playing catch, a mother dipping her baby's toes into the chilly water, identical twin girls wearing matching swimsuits and choreographing a barefoot dance.
I find myself searching around for their parents and always wonder how their children came to them and if their arrivals where a struggle like it is for us or if it was never a second thought or worry if it would happen. I wonder if they know how very blessed they are to play with their child in the sand and I always keep note that when it indeed happens for us, that I hope we will never take these precious moments for granted.
I wasn't always like this. I didn't always feel a lump in my throat and a yearning in my gut at the sight of a swelling belly or a woman breast feeding or a husband and wife both carrying children on their hips. In fact, in my twenties, being a mother didn't really enter my mind very much. What did occupy my mind was traveling and spirituality, moving around like a gypsy and living in a funky studio high enough to see the golden gate bridge in San Francisco. My family probably often wondered if I would ever settle down enough to be a mother at all. I recall my grandmother often saying "You're just like your Aunt Linda". My Aunt Linda was a bright career woman that never wanted children and married much later in life. Its not that I wasn't nurturing. On the contrary, I was the one my friends always came to for comfort and wisdom and "mothering" so to speak. Being a mother to a child just wasn't a desire at that time in my life. I was a bit too free spirited and wild and curious.
It wasn't until I met my husband that the yearnings came out of left field. I found my partner for life...a male version of me (albeit much, much taller). The thought of creating a family with him was like this primal urge that just took over my mind, body and soul. My heart opened up to this possibility wider and more fierce than it has with anything else in my life. It surprised me and I often wonder if it surprised others in my life. I fell madly in love and the idea of creating a family together felt so very natural and exciting and challenging and right.
Since then, as most of you know that have been reading my blog for a few years, I have come to a balance of creating a life for myself that is so very fulfilling despite our struggles. Yet there is still that empty space. Some days it is easier to manage but on days like these, when I find myself wanting to sit on the sand and watch other peoples children, it haunts me. I try to remember what it was like to be that twenty something city Boho that filled her mind with city happenings but its just not the same. I am transformed by a longing that will not fade away. I am now that woman that is out with her girlfriends sipping martinis but is suddenly distracted by the baby in the stroller outside of the window. It takes energy to regroup, to find my breath again. I find myself going down my mental list of things I am grateful for. This always helps. It somehow takes the sting away. A little bit.
There are days when I can remove myself from a situation that might make emotions surface and spill and then there are days when I know I just have to surrender. Today was one of those days.
I am still manifesting a healthy pregnancy. I am still believing it will happen. I am still feeling that certainty to the core but today I find myself honoring the vulnerable parts too. Honoring others that have traveled a similar path and know what it is like to sit on the sand and brush those tears that won't stop as you watch a little one run towards the shore.