The births of my children were spread across 15 years. Like all mothers, I can describe when and where I went into labor, and how I felt when my baby was laid in my arms the first time. These experiences are stored in a mother’s heart like coveted jewels kept in a safe. We retrieve them at birthdays, at family gatherings, or whenever our son or daughter comes to mind. Unlike other memories, these precious moments don’t grow dusty with time.
When I look across the terrain of my child-rearing years, I realize I lost dreams and discovered new ones, I knew despair but found faith, I was invisible and then stood in the spotlight. I lived in a dozen or so places and taught in a variety of schools – all during those important 15 years.
Nothing stands still. The before of birth with swollen belly and discomfort, isn’t the after of diapers and cries and kisses and cuddles. One extended moment and everything changes.
Moms mark time by the birth of their children, because life as they knew it irreversibly changed. In a way, birth is the quintessential example of the before and after of time, of change expected or not, of life moving forward - with or without us.
How do you mark time?