I’m not ready for empty arms. It dawned on me this weekend that this is the uncomfortable part of my body I’m not sure how to deal with. When I have friends over with little children or babies, and I sit there with an empty lap or empty arms – I look agitated. I don’t know how to hold myself when I’m not holding someone else.
You’re all right, when it passes – we miss those days. The days of being needed in a way that holding someone near your heartbeat is the only skill needed. My body betrayed me in pregnancy and we definitely made the final decision to stop the flow of childbearing for my health. But all this time later, all these hugs and lap mornings and snuggles later … I realize that the emptiness isn’t inside at all. It’s outside, it’s on the exterior, it’s the emptiness of the weight of someone else on my hip.
My daughter is getting too heavy to carry her, but I still try – every chance she’ll let me. My son is still weightless in my arms, he still floats around my body like a feather and I’ve stopped trying to explain it to Aaron – that I need just a little more contact. If today is the last day he’ll let me hold him, I need today. I need to memorize how he smells after he wakes up, I need to touch the nape of her neck before she goes to bed no matter what.
I need those moments, I need those memories. I need those reminders that not that long ago they were the little fingers on my chest, the gummy mouths all over my nose. The tender little ropes tied to my calves.
I don’t say this to wish away what I have right now or to hurdle my family into circumstance we haven’t considered – I just know that the ache I have is real. And I thought I needed to fill it, like escaping the mystery would solve the problem. When really, maybe I just need to sit on the ground and fold my arms around the emptiness.
Because this too shall pass. And if I keep going forward looking back I’ll never see what’s right in front of me. What has been all along.
Our adventure still awaits
it isn’t over yet.