Last night, I sat in the nursery for an hour with Ezra prostrate on my chest. We rocked in the chair like a ship at sea, his body wrapped in mine, my body wrapped in the blue black darkness of the bedroom.
As we rocked, I sensed the onset of a storm and saw the darkness of the room gather and take shape. The nighttime shadows swelled and then washed over my body like a wave. My lungs filled. I was drowning. This work I was called to do--this work of mothering another human being--felt like a deluge of duty, a flood of fearsome expectations, a Herculean task at best. I choked and sputtered on the realization that I was not adept at sailing these seas.
I looked to the heavens and called to God, as any desperate sailor might. The ocean's roar waned, and I heard God whisper through Ezra's tender and scratchy breath. My imagination molded each exhale into a small tuft of cotton that cheerfully popped from Ezra's lips and then floated heavenward. In no time, Ezra and I were sailing beneath a canopy of his cotton breath clouds, bobbing along in slower and gentler waters.
I thanked God for calming the seas and offered up a prayer of repentance.
I am sorry, God. I forgot that you have sent me here well equipped to love my child deeply and rightly despite my many motherhood mishaps. (Rock forward)
I am sorry that I forgot that to sail these particular waters is my destiny just as constant and certain as the night sky constellations. (Rock back)
I am sorry that I forgot that with You, I am more expansive and powerful than my dark and briny ocean of fears. (Rock forward)
I rocked my apologetic mantra for a long while. The rhythm of my reparation lulled Ezra into a slumber, and I felt forgiven by all.