There is nothing finished about parenting. No days where everything is done, no moments when you stop being a mom, no time when your memory isn’t stuffed with bits and pieces of parenting and birthing and whining and smiles and worries and epiphanies. They say don’t sweat the small stuff, and yet that’s the very fabric of life, isn’t it? The sweat glues all the little threads together, keeping us somewhat intact.
We’re never entirely whole again though, are we? At least not the kind of whole we started with. Taken from our bodies, these kids steal something and make it their own. Hearts, our hearts, not to mention our blood and genes and foibles and weird habits. They take it, make it their own, and move on. Pieces of us move on with them, forever woven into their beings. We are whole, yes, but the whole is fragmented and the bonds tenuous at best.
In between the stretched pieces of our former selves, this is where we grow. We might not recognize our bodies, our feelings, or our lives, but they are richly, roughly, painful, and truly us. Raw and bleeding sometimes, but able to feel something we never imagined possible. Is this sanity? To be broken and remade? It’s the only thing I know, it is beautiful, and it is mine to live.