Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pieces of Me

A friend of mine took this photo a year ago March 2008. I saw it recently on her blog with the quote below.

My children are pieces of me. Without them I am bare.

Looking back through the lens of her camera (thanks Sarah!), and now looking forward (as well as down at my belly that feels like a wrecking ball, especially when I'm rolling over during the night), I realize how true this quote is. Our children are literally pieces of us. Appendages, extensions, dependents. How stripped I would feel without them.

I don't want to take for granted that their little fingers reach up for mine instinctively, how it feels to have their bit of hand tucked inside mine, that when they stretch both arms up to be held, I lift them to my hip and their tears slow as they drape their fleshy arms around my neck and snuggle their head into that perfect hollow between my chin and chest. It is staggering to think that I must meet their needs - that they require so much, yet so little. As I type away, I feel two little boys pressing and pivoting inside me - placed there for divine purposes - to depend in physical and spiritual ways - upon me. Pieces of me.

I want to remember what it was like to sit on the couch tonight, flanked by my three toddler girls, a twin under each arm as we read Runaway Bunny, Nightmare in my Closet, and Where's Spot? I noticed the tiny dents for knuckles on Sami's hand as she pointed out "little bunny" hiding in the crocus. I recognized the desire to be included in Ali's eyes when she looked up at me and asked "Me too?" as we talked about visiting baby Gus. And I can't allow myself to forget the part of me that ached when Eliza clung fiercely to me with her arms and legs in a hug of reconciliation after I had reprimanded her. So pure. And I am so impatient. I am bare without them.

Maybe it is the fact that we have weathered two weeks now of sick children, including a trip to the ER to draw an IV and hydrate Eliza, half a bottle of Resolve carpet cleaner gone, and more loads of laundry hauled up and down the stairs than I thought was humanly possible in a week. The absence of their happiness made me more grateful for them. I missed my darlings. Now they are perking up, reclaiming their unique selves and spilling over again with light. With their recovery, I too am calmed and made whole. We've had long nights, long feverish, whimpering snuggles, and my hands are red and cracked from frequent washing. But seeing this picture taken a year ago, I can't dismiss the quiet whisper. How miraculous it is that you have them. Eliza, Ali, Sami, and my boys to be - I love being your mother. I would do anything for you. You are mine. My children.


  1. I love the picture! Catherine - you are so eloquent and wise. It is hard at times not to be impatient but yet you still have such perspective. Thanks for your thoughts - I need them too.

  2. Very touching words, Catherine... Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts...

  3. I love how you can put my feelings into concrete words. You are so amazing.

  4. Those memories are so precious. We love you and your little ones!

  5. This post made me cry happy tears. You are a wonderful mom, I'm glad we'll be having boys around the same time and sharing the adventure :)


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