"We kissed, so we're married." He claims his spot on my lap and smashes our faces together. He's four. The days of wanting his mama for a wife are definitely numbered. His eyes are a dazzling blue. They're striking to me lately since I spend so much time gazing into his baby brother's eyes... Elmer's are different - kind of a blue/green with a ring of brown around the inside...
A whole passel of little boys we have, and in these days it seems i eat, drink and breath motherhood. Gage is full of empathy and protective maturity for the younger set. Ephraim is the class clown - his face, like a magical chameleon capable of every impossible expression. Elmer is growing into his personality, trying it on like a costume - now his eyes glinting with humour that a ten month old begins to grasp, now communicating with confusing body language his desires, now furiously misunderstood.
They wrestle like a litter of puppies wiggling over each other, guttural growls and terrifying, careless leaps.
This is a part of the work I'm doing in my thirties.
And it's the same as it ever was a dozen years ago when I had three girls instead of these three little boys... And I wonder if I've grown at all when I've kept on doing the same thing instead of wrapping up one phase of life and moving on to the next...
I'm still changing diapers. I'm still breastfeeding. A dozen years after stumbling through grade 1 with my firstborn, I'm still stumbling through grade one with my sixth born, this time while watching my first complete the requirements for graduation.
And so many would use my extended season of motherhood to label me.
"She's the one with eight kids..."
And if I'm honest... I do it myself. Oh, how I dearly love these little people.... Even the ones who have grown taller than me. Even the three that went Home before me. Each one tearing me as they stretched me so that I'm not even the same person I was before they came...
But even so...
Strips me of my beloved label of "mother".
Strips me of the sweet label of "wife".
Looks deeper... past my outward appearance.
Way past it.
He. Sees. Me.
And as I'm seen, I'm scrambling for covering... used to hiding behind, cheering from the stands, sitting in a shadow.
Not Neil's wife, or Ephraim's mama...
No, under the label, I'm His.
28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts. 17:28