Written Imperfection

590I am surrounded by diapers, covered in spit-up, holding onto my last brain cell…

And if I am completely honest with my weary self…

I could not be more delighted.

For there is something profoundly gentle in new motherhood after four years and three children.

The quiet flow of life that trumps the checklist that sits covered in dust on my kitchen counter.

The late nights.  The snuggles.  The sweet scent of newness atop my baby’s head.

All the crazy fades into the background as it etches brilliant battle scars of the journey traveled.

The preeclampsia two days before delivery…

My face the size of the Michelin Man…

My ankles not much smaller…

The tachycardic pulse and significant blood loss during surgery…

My less-than-impressive-cane-assisted walking…

My sweet baby who cannot seem to gain weight despite our valiant efforts…

The yellow socks that make me giggle because they tell the staff my balance stinks…

My extra night in the hospital for “possible stroke symptoms”…

My relief at the news that we both get to go home…

And even through two weeks of weight checks and neuro follow-ups,

I breathe easily…

I gain perspective…

When I see a baby being re-admitted for weight issues…

When a pediatrician-in-clinic shares that she would have hospitalized a baby like mine for at least ten days…

When my eye catches a bag marked “tools for grieving families” in the hall to the NICU…

I. Am. Grateful.

Grateful I get to go home to diapers and spit-up and one last brain cell.

And I find myself wishing I knew at 28 what I know now…

That motherhood is not a story of perfection.

It is instead horribly beautiful…filled with the tough stuff of life wrapped in the sweet…waiting for you to simply breathe it in…

Quietly.  Steadily. Wholly.

The pages filled with humble diligence.  The lines drawn beside every mess and every mountaintop. The chapters marked in perseverance and often, tears.

It is a story that begs to be written well.

Despite its imperfection.

It is sacrifice.  It is heartache.  It is pain.

It is joy.  It is peace.  It is restoration.

And it is why I feel at home here even in the chaos…

Among the diapers and the spit-up and the one brain cell…

For I am listening to the voice I wish I’d heard then…

The one that shouts in but a whisper as if to say,

“Forget perfect, Sara…”

“And just write the story well.”

456

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