I will n.e.v.e.r. forget the moment. The exact moment when it suddenly “hit”. When my heart was officially divided. Split. When my love for one little being was now shared between two. There were tears. Hormonal, no doubt. Guilt. An abundance. And lots of questioning…
~”How was I going to do this?”
~”How am I going to split my attention…my heart…my hands…my love?”
And there I sat. Just finished nursing Monkey, who was sound asleep in all her chubbiness, just two days old. And I pulled Miss O. tightly against my chest. A mere 19 months old. And I whispered five little words into her sweet ear “I am so sorry, baby…” We rocked. And rocked. And rocked. In her glider. And as she lay against me, I sobbed.
You see, she had been the center of our world for a year-and-a-half. She was the answer to a lot of prayers. A dream come true. She is who made me a mother. And I will never, ever forget that.
Fast-forward six-and-a-half years later. Sometimes, I wonder how my heart just does it. How any of our hearts can manage. So naturally. Dividing my attention. Between four little beings. And multiplying such an incredible, unconditional love. It’s not always easy. There are days that are beyond challenging. But that love n.e.v.e.r waivers.
Isn’t it, uncanny, precious mamas? How so. much. fear. builds in our minds. How we question our capabilities. To balance. To adjust. To love. When, in fact, God equips us with such an incredible heart. A heart that has the ability to grow and grow and grow. Without limits. Without prerequisites. Without any rules and regulations. We can do with it what we want. And as mothers, it’s the most powerful and beautiful instrument we have in our maternal toolbox.
Each our girls is so very different, and thus, so is my love. In one moment, I can listen to the beautiful words of Miss Observant thriving with her newfound love of reading, while Monkey draws her amazing stick figures with curly hair and big, come-at-you-eyes, all while cuddling with our sweet, chunky Snuggle Bug, as we cheer on Baby Nugget, who is leading her own dance party in the middle of the living room. And it works.
My mind is drawn to the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 with just a very few loaves of bread and fish (Matthew 4: 14-21). Being human, we doubt. As a mother, sometimes we doubt of abilities, our decisions…our capacity to provide enough love to each of our children. But, somehow, some way, by some true miracle, we are able to divide that love. To multiply that affection. And to still have plenty left over to spare.
My mom was the youngest of f.i.f.te.e.n. children. (Did I meantion, fifteen?!?!?!) My grandparents survived world wars, drafts, the Great Depression. My beautiful, ever-giving grandmother lived to be 92 young years-young. And her love never waivered. No matter the choices that her children made, she found enough love. In fact, she found enough love to grow a family tree of epic-proprtions. She welcomed over one hundred grandchildren and nearly just as many great-grandchildren through her steadfast and ever-giving ways.
I have no doubt in my mind that there were moments in my grandma’s life when she questioned how she was going to provide. Support. Give enough love and attention to each child. But she did. And she continued to do so through each generation to come.
Love is an a.m.a.z.i.n.g. thing. Especially love for children. Whether the precious lives were grown in your womb…welcomed into your family through adoption…or by way of blending two families together…somehow, our love manages to defy all math problems…dividing and multiplying at the e.x.a.c.t. same time.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7