It snowed the other day. The wind moved the tree limbs to a January dance. Then within the hour, the flakes were gone — and a new president had taken office. It was a pointed reminder that the seasons, the mood of the country, and the shades of light and dark that imbue our own lives are swift and temporary.
The shades of motherhood too are merely fleeting moments. That kaleidoscope of frenzy and quiet, of harmony and discord, of vibrancy and exhaustion, whip us every which way. The winds of parenthood sometimes silence us. The challenges humble us. The joys elevate us.
And then things change again.
…sweating and struggling and juggling
Many of us are spending this pandemic winter in seclusion. New babies are welcomed with no audience. First-time mothers are learning the ropes of parenthood in isolation. Moms and dads are sweating and struggling and juggling as the pandemic robs us of normalcy. Inside our homes, some of us are cocooned in a space all our own. Others are locked in place.
For all of us, our faces are forced to meet today. But the winds will shift once more, and again time will urge us on.
President Joe Biden spoke of life’s changes in his inaugural address, saying, “There are some days when we need a hand. There are other days when we’re called on to lend one.”
Such is the starkness and the sweetness of being alive.
Make today count
As a parent of a young child, I often am fooled by time. The fury of a tantrum is endless. Sleep regressions come unwelcome and perpetually. And potty training is a challenge we haven’t yet overcome, a daily frustration. Then, astonishingly, I realize my daughter is speaking in complete sentences. A few fleeting moments ago, she was born; now she is dressing herself.
Whatever the circumstance, our only guarantee is it will not last. Let’s make today mean something, as parents, as citizens and neighbors. We may be isolated, but still we coexist. There is opportunity in the here and now, even in blackness.
The rest is up to fate.