So, we were sitting at the breakfast table – the three additional chairs added to the coziness (I said, cozy-ness, not craziness) we experienced yesterday morning. After all the honey drizzled oatmeal was served and the glasses and sippy-cups were filled with milk, the clanking of spoons scooping around the sides of the bowls soon sounded like a sixth grade band class. I was looking around the table into the faces of each of the children and I was profoundly struck with the thought that we (my husband and I) were sitting in the midst of the most important work we’d ever experienced.
I was, for a moment, practically breathless as I considered what was before me. So, in one of those rare moments where I’m profoundly struck with a thought that I know is pivotal or life-changing, I again looked into the faces of the children around the table – this time, not the number of children but, rather, their relationship to me. So, I had an epiphany of sorts, when I realized that I am in the probably the most important role of my life or season of my life right now.
And here, I thought it was all about the season in the sun. O, don’t get me wrong, the season in the sun was the most life changing, most challenging and stretching season of my life and it was in that season that I most often saw the miraculous, gracious hand of the LORD and it was in that season that I experienced blessing far greater than I could have ever asked or possibly imagined. I stumbled into the season in the sun and thought it would go on forever. I didn’t know a thing about the passing of seasons and the winds of change (I believe I had that cool, youthful, know-it-all syndrome). The season in the sun was – and I’ll be quite frank here: all about me; it was all about what was going on with me, all about what was happening to me, my baby, my pregnancy, my doctor then my midwife, my due-dates, my toddlers, my diaper bags, my nursing schedule, etc., etc., etc.
The season in the sun is the softest and hardest, the most rewarding and most disappointing and, certainly the most awe-inspiring season that I know of. The season in the sun is totally where it’s at: it’s the season of the childbearing years, it’s the season of great blessing.
Well, so I was sitting at the table and there was that epiphany. It was sort of like that time a couple of summers ago where I was sitting on the back step of a friend’s patio and there were several sisters sitting our on the lawn – chairs in sort of a circle. The conversations were over babies and pregnancies for that’s what each were in the midst of — they were all both literally and figuratively sitting there in the season in the sun. Now, my sitting on the porch step had nothing to do with a choice to not sit in the circle, for I literally wanted to sit in the direct sunlight, and I did eventually pull up a lawn chair and joined them there in the circle on the lawn. However, had I not been sitting there on the step I would have missed a sort of signal or realization of the threshold of my entrance into the next season I would begin experiencing.
As that afternoon sun slowly slipped behind the tall trees, it was as if I realized that day that the sun was slowly setting on the season in the sun and I would no longer search out the best baby-sling, the best nursing bra, the best diaper-cover, the best stroller, the best iron supplement, the best car seat or the best support-hose. I realized that day that I wasn’t a part of the relevant conversation… for the first time, I noticed that all my contributions to the conversation were in the past-tense. And I still sort of have a catch in my throat when I look back on that day… for it’s one of those days that’s etched in my memory, never to be forgotten.
When I was in the season in the sun, though older women continually warned me, I didn’t realize how swiftly it was passing; I thought the days would never end. But, ironically, though the days were long, the weeks flew by. And now, looking back, I see that the years flew by while I was in the other room changing diapers. A couple of decades flew by while I was desperately trying to hold it all together – making sure that no one doubted I could handle it. Now… I wish for one more day… sort of vowing to not try and have it all together, not worry about what others would think, say or do… but for one more day of the season in the sun… one more positive test, one more pregnancy, one more birth, one more baby to nurse………………O, but that epiphany? I’ll write about it tomorrow.