Joshua’s my pioneer child, exploring the wilderness of my heart and patience in a way I think only a firstborn can. Lately, he and I spend more time not understanding each other than we do just getting it. Getting each other. From his birth until now, it’s like we’re always finding our way through this rocky terrain that is us.
My grandfather is nearing 90 and has recently become mostly bed-ridden (but also mostly stubborn) so Mama decided it was time we all paid a visit. We haven’t seen him in three years and it was time to go again. And he needed to meet his great-granddaughter.
All last week I was nervous. Anxious. Terrified, really. Afraid that the weekend would be one giant fail right on top of another. The week with Joshua had been so rough and I didn’t want to go.
Last week was hard. Super hard. So hard I cried a lot and questioned whether or not I need to call my doctor and throw down a copay for a bottle of pills.
But I knew I had to go. It just had to be done.
So, Friday morning I loaded up the car and we drove to rural south Georgia to visit my family. Just me, Joshua, and Emma making the trek on our own since Dan had to work.
There were some not great moments on the trip. Times when I felt really alone despite being surrounded by family. Times when those days were creeping in on me.
But there were lots of good moments, too. Lots of moments where Joshua and I found our way.
There were lots of stops for peeing and nursing and snacks. He ate chips and pretzels and not real food and I didn’t care. I chose not to worry about what he did or didn’t eat because that was one less thing to stress me out.
(Turns out, that was genius.)
There were lots of compliments on what a sweet and awesome boy he is. And really, he is. Both sweet and awesome.
But the moment my Mama Heart needed happened when I didn’t expect it.
Saturday night, I kissed him goodnight and put him to bed. When I climbed into the bed about 45 minutes later, without saying a word, he rolled toward me, threw his arm over my neck, and just snuggled in.
He found his way to me.
I’ve felt so far away from him at times since Emma’s arrival. Like so much has changed in my relationship with him that I don’t quite recognize it. I feel so inadequate as his mother sometimes.
I laid there breathing him in, holding him while he was so still and calm and half my size and my heart swelled.
In that moment, in that quiet, dark room it was just us. Joshua and me. Together.
My boy got what he needed and so did my heart.