Here Stands a Mother on the Edge. Of Everything.

By Megan

Every few days, Bean and I wander into the baby’s room, and as I hover at the edge of his crib, she climbs up to stand on the railing beside me, close enough that I can breathe in her scent and tuck an arm around her to pull her in against me. Together we gaze down at the freshly-laundered alphabet linens, the carefully-selected soft, friendly stuffed bears and puppies and even an old plaid moose.

In my mind, I’m picturing a tiny son of mine, lying neatly swaddled and just-fed there, maybe sleeping, maybe just quietly peeping up at me out of his blanket, and this imagined wide-eyed newborn stare grips my heart just as his tiny, clutching, trusting fingers will clutch my own. I know what I feel inside; a certain ever-growing sense of longing, of missing a boy I’ve yet to meet, but whom I so love already that his absence from my arms these last slowly-passing weeks he’s still in my belly threaten to overwhelm me at times.

And I look over at my sweet daughter, there with me, close as my own breath, as she has been since these same mother’s arms longed to hold and comfort her own tiny newborn form, and I ask her quietly, What are you thinking about, baby girl?

The question, to me, must be almost whispered. The moment deserves a hush, a reverence, for all it signifies.

I’m finkin’ about Peanut, she replies matter-of-factly. He’s gonna sweep in my crib that I’m sharing wif him.

Yes, he is. How do you feel about that?

Good, she says, simply, her eyes suddenly brightening and as they begin to search the printed sheets. Mama, look. L for lollipop! Do you see it?

I do see it! And look! H is for helicopter. See the helicopter?


Thus for the moment, my reverie broken, the hush evaporates into daily life. And on we go, this child and I, on into the future, our time as just the two of us, mother and daughter, ticking away loudly, oblivious to the weight it carries on its steadily beating wings.

And I think to myself, this must be what it is to love two children – these distinct cravings for one and the other, the mystery and energy of them causing even time itself to crawl and fly simultaneously along its path toward what will be and away from what has always been – this heart equally devoted to and aching for both.

Megan is the owner and author of FriedOkra, a blog about parenting, the South, comfort food and many other good things in life.

32 Responses to Here Stands a Mother on the Edge. Of Everything.
  1. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    July 14, 2008 | 2:32 am

    Megan, I could see myself about 9 months ago standing in the same place feeling those emotions… but I certainly could not have described them so eloquently. Thank you for sharing such a moving post.

    Now my new baby girl is 9 months old and her big sister is just over 3 years. I often ponder the complex emotions of a mother’s intense love for her children.

  2. Kim
    July 14, 2008 | 8:05 am

    How wonderful that in your “advanced maternal age” 🙂 you have the wisdom to know the love you feel now for Bean is expanding with the arrival of the Peanut.
    I was young and loved my son with a fierceness that had surprised me. When I became pregnant with #2 I felt just AWFUL because this poor baby, well, he/she was comin’ into a world where I’d just flat used up all my love on my firstborn, and how SAD because he/she would have to get by on the crumbs.
    But then she was born and I learned that love just grows and grows and grows and the expansion is infinite. It helped me begin to understand the infinite love of my heavenly Father. And I was so grateful for these two amazing blessings from Him that I could love and love and love and never run out of it.

  3. Jenn
    July 14, 2008 | 8:24 am


  4. Alicia
    July 14, 2008 | 8:28 am

    Oh, Megan, the most amazing thing is that that love continues to grow as your children grow and then expands some more as your grandchildren come along. It is amazing to me that I can love my 4 day old granddaughter as much as my 2 1/2 year old grandson as much as my 18 year old son and my 23 and 25 year old daughters and even my son-in-law. And none of that takes away from the love for their dad/pa-pa. That is the coolest thing about love – it just grows and grows and grows to encompass as much as you let it!

  5. Lora Lynn
    July 14, 2008 | 9:39 am

    Megan, you captured “it” very well. Nicely put.

  6. Jenny 867-5309
    July 14, 2008 | 9:55 am

    How do you do it, Megan? How do you express yourself so well whether you’re talking about your love for your children or your blond moments with the Backstreet Boys/Furniture guys? I just love it!!

  7. Elaine
    July 14, 2008 | 9:56 am

    Woooooooo! 10! You go, girl.

  8. Julie
    July 14, 2008 | 9:59 am

    Beautifully written.

  9. […] are you still doing here?  Click on some of those links and start reading.  Megan’s new post is up on 5 Minutes for Parenting and that is much more interesting than looking at my […]

  10. Laura
    July 14, 2008 | 10:12 am

    Yes. Exactly. I’m sitting here blinking back the tears, because that is the perfect way to describe my emotional journey into mother-of-two-‘dom seven months ago. And it only gets more intense as I watch my daughter and my baby boy interact with each other these days. The adoration they show for each other, combined with mine for them…well, I just about explode with joy. *sigh*

  11. Niki
    July 14, 2008 | 11:15 am

    What a post!! I could feel my “motherly butterflies” welling up inside my stomach. As the mother of one, I felt my heart hurting for my sweet little girl as I put myself in her shoes, if we were adding an addition to our family (which we aren’t). Yet, I do know that it is amazing how my mother was able to love all three of us so completely, never leaving one of us to feel left out. In fact the other day, my husband asked me and my brother who my mom loved most, and we both replied with conviction, “me”. I know that my love for another child would blow me away, just like the first…for goodness sake, I love every baby I come in contact with. Thanks Kim for pointing to the love our Heavenly Father has for us…I hadn’t thought of that when reading the blog, but oh how true it is. It is a great reminder. Megan, I can’t wait to see you with your 2 children side by side, both looking adoringly at you, and you looking at each of them, knowing each of them as individuals, and loving them for their similarities and their differences…just for who they are.

  12. Binary Blonde
    July 14, 2008 | 12:19 pm

    What a beautiful post. It had me dropping a few tears even though I am expecting my first in a few months.

  13. Karen {simply a musing blog}
    July 14, 2008 | 12:37 pm

    (sniffle) (snork) That was so incredibly and endearingly sweet – makes me SO want to have another baby…

  14. T with Honey
    July 14, 2008 | 1:31 pm

    I’m glad I had the tissues standing by because, yes, I needed them after reading this.

    Such sweet thoughts. Sometimes I wonder if I have enough love for Princess and another child if we are ever so blessed. You’ve managed to capture the feeling, the way a momma’s heart and capacity to love grows with each child and put it into words and I know that it is indeed possible.

  15. To Think Is To Create
    July 14, 2008 | 2:03 pm

    You are a rock star, girl. And those same feelings happen with each new child, and the amazing ability of our hearts to stretch and grow is nothing short of a miracle. Thanks for this special post today. Loved it.


  16. Alane
    July 14, 2008 | 4:24 pm

    Beautiful post Megan, you & this blog are a perfect fit.
    Can’t wait for next week…

  17. Mari
    July 14, 2008 | 4:49 pm

    Megan – you never fail to move me in some way – often laughter, today its sweet memories. I remember the waiting and those sweet feeling of anticipation.

  18. casual friday everyday
    July 14, 2008 | 6:59 pm

    Beautiful post. Very moving!

  19. Kellyn
    July 14, 2008 | 7:05 pm

    You drew me back to 6 years ago, when I would stand over Boo’s crib and just look. I couldn’t imagine the small person coming soon, and what changes she brings.

  20. Jen
    July 14, 2008 | 11:13 pm

    And, trust me, it’s even more wonderful to see your little girl become a big sister and share her love with a new baby. I used to feel a little sorry for my second child, because we never got those “just mommy and me” years. But then I realized she’s blessed in a way my oldest is not, because she has this other person, a big sister, there to love her in addition to her mommy and daddy. Sibling love is a special thing and it’s really fun to watch.

  21. Kelly
    July 15, 2008 | 12:00 am

    Sometimes, the anticipation of a future gift is almost suffocating in its intensity.

    I loved this story, Megan. You are going to have SO MUCH FUN with that little Peanut. I’m so glad we get to follow this story.

  22. Beck
    July 15, 2008 | 10:31 am

    Oh, make me CRY why don’t you?
    It’s going to be so much fun!

  23. Jen from I should be cleaning...
    July 15, 2008 | 2:19 pm

    Goergeous writing!

  24. Sincerely Anna
    July 15, 2008 | 2:26 pm

    Makes me think back to only 5 months ago when I had the same thoughts, at times quite overwhelming to me as well. I’m so looking forward to reading your blog when Peanut arrives!

  25. World's Greatest Mommy
    July 15, 2008 | 4:27 pm

    Oh Megan, yes that’s exactly what it is. 5 children later and I’ve learned that your heart remains full and full of longing at the same time.

    It’s one reason that 5 might turn into six for me.

    Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

  26. Summer
    July 16, 2008 | 4:38 am

    What a beautiful post. I remember feeling the exact same way. Now, 19 months later, it’s hard to even remember my life before the 2nd child.

  27. Laura
    July 17, 2008 | 4:26 pm

    Oh, I felt this so much with each of my four children!!

    I was so amazed at the experience of loving a child… it really brings home the meaning of loving someone so much it hurts!! In a good way!

    Beautiful post!

  28. Amy
    July 17, 2008 | 11:20 pm

    Oh what a beautiful post

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