Why can’t motherhood be simple? Simple like it is for other mothers in the animal kingdom? I watched, Maggie, our dog curl herself around her seven brand new puppies. Her peaceful expression filled me with wonder. Yesterday she had never been a mother. Today she is loving and nurturing her little ones as if she has been doing it all her life.
For a moment, only a moment, I wanted babies again. Babies to snuggle and hold. Babies that had no other purpose except to sleep, eat, and be loved. I sighed and sat back. I listened to the contented voices of full bellies, warm bodies, and a new mother happy with her lot in life.
Why is it so complicated for us? Feeding and keeping my little girls warm is definitely a high priority, yet it seems but two tiny fish in an ocean of worries. Are my girls polite? How do other people perceive them? Am I doing enough to help them grow? Learn? Adapt? Do they know they are loved? Are they emotionally healthy? The list goes on and on. And on. And on…
I tousled Maggie’s head and rubbed her behind the ears. “Lucky girl,” I whispered.
I’m jealous of a dog.
I want the simplistic and complete love she has for her newborn puppies. It feels like something I have never had and never will because my mind and heart are full of so many anxious duties.
We get glimpses of this simple heart-owning love. I know I felt it the first time I held my eldest daughter--that love-at-first-sight, breath-taking acknowledgment of someone who owns a piece of my heart. I felt this love holding my twin newborns skin-to-skin feeling the warmth of their impossibly tiny bodies burn an imprint into my soul. Yes, I’ve felt it. But life intervenes and steals it with its crafty ways.
Even as I write this post it is glaringly obvious what has robbed me of something that precious: worry. My worries for my precious girls prevents me from staying in love with them all the time. My mind searches for faults, flaws, things I can fix, prevent, change. But as I do that I keep my heart from simply loving them.
Oh, God, help me. Heal me. Change my heart. Please make me more like my dog.
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