Certain times of year bring back certain memories for me. For example, for many years after our semester in Austria in college, autumn leaves and cooler weather always brought back memories of the Kartuase and the emotional adventure that Europe was for me.
This time of year, late May, planting the gardens, working in the yard bring back my memories of being huge. I was enormously pregnant with a 10 lb baby boy last Memorial Day weekend. I did not know that the baby was a boy or that he was so big, but I was anticipating and waiting on his arrival.
This year is quite different. I have known that I am the mother of a boy for a year now. I have experienced his uniqueness for a year. And I have had so many things I wanted to say about this until I sat down to write and the children became restless.
The girls and I were perusing the blog of last May and the baby and I were pretty huge there together in that last bump shot. Oh, what a difference a year makes.
I am not sure if my experience of mothering T has been different because he is a boy or because he is number 4 or because I am older or because he took on the bad sleep pattern of his eldest sister. But I think that my fears last May of being tried beyond what I had been tried before with a baby were warranted. I felt throughout that pregnancy that this fourth baby was going to be a challenge for me. I wrote last May:
“My motherhood and wifehood is not about being blissful and comfortable day to day, it is about giving myself as a gift to others, so that one day I can have the ultimate human end of eternal happiness with my Creator and Savior. And it is hard. It will never stop being hard, but it is the gift I am called to give.
Our earthly vocation will not always make us happy now, but if we persevere in it, we will be happy forever. It is the same in any vocation, to priesthood, religious life, consecrated single life, and marriage; we will not always be happy.”
And since T was born that has been a reoccurring theme for me. And the truth of it is that I have been happy in my day to day life, despite the sleepless nights, despite the stress of home schooling, despite it all, I have grown. I often feel guilty that I am too happy. I wonder what I have done to deserve the blessings that I have. And the truth of it also is that we do have our daily frustrations, faults, shortness of temper, and the occasional major argument; but we always come back to the happy state of the life we have. I will probably write more on this as the first birthday gets closer, but that is all the time I have for now.