I no longer feel the need to hide in the house. I no longer have to struggle to get through the days. I know those days will still happen. They always do--with one child or two. But, I basically feel like myself again. Although, I'm still marveling at saying I am the mother of two, of talking about my children and saying "My son, River and my daughter, Sage.", of watching the big one climb the slide and barrel down head first while I hold a floppy baby against my chest in arms that still remember days upon days of holding her brother when he was this small. Like riding a bike, you never forget how to care for a baby. Mothering is natural, easy, familiar now. My body knows the way, even as my mind sometimes freezes over the fact that here I am.
My life--the mother of two children. The strangeness and awe doesn't dull with time.
Raising these kids is like a long television series. I look forward to the next episodes and get nostalgic over things that have passed and can't be lived again. Jason and I already talk about the sounds and phrases and messy words that have faded from River's speech. Already Sage changes and sheds her mannerisms as she grows. She doesn't purse her lips and pant when she wants to nurse anymore. She doesn't stick her legs straight out, tense, when she latches during a feeding. We're all learning to sleep through her night time grunting. Changes keep on coming.
We have moments, flashcard fast. Like nursing Sage in bed while I opened my birthday gifts. River taking the boots the "kids" bought for me and insisting on wearing them both and then dancing in bed. Moments.
Yes, I'm exhausted. Raising children is work, but these are happy days. As my memories fade and blur, I am left with a feeling of deep, satisfying, contentment.