Last Wednesday night was the last night that I breastfed Abraham. And to be completely honest, my emotions are all.over.the.place.
We’ve been taking steps towards this moment for months. Gordon and I have a work trip in May and logistically it was time.
But it’s made my reflective and nostalgic heart leap into my throat. I had to catch my breath so many times that day. Realising that night before bedtime would be our last time.
And it was all over so quickly. What once felt never-ending, vanished before me. He pulled off and smiled, and was ready for bed. How? How did this happen?
Twenty-six books read on my iPhone, in the middle of the night and during the slow hours of the afternoon. Numerous Netflix shows. Two bouts of mastitis (one at 8 weeks and another at 19 months). Colic. Three months where I had to stand and feed him, bouncing and swaying. Feeding though the night until 19 months – when he finally started to sleep through. Multiple biting phases. Missed out on so many social events I have lost count. Had to accept new limits to my own abilities. I’ve fed him on planes, trains, in cars, on buses, up hills, on floors, in toilets, at weddings, at restaurants. Tucked away in rooms. And countless tears shed in the middle of the night, morning, afternoon….alone….wondering if I was measuring up. Feeling all the while I was failing him somehow. Failing myself….missing out on who I used to be. Angry for all the times I couldn’t do more or be more.
It is, by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And yet it’s heart wrenching to say goodbye. We’ve been through so much, together. This wee man and I. My first born.
But it’s time. It’s time to let go. Just a little bit. Motherhood is this gradual letting go. Of my own perfectionist tendencies. Having a baby who would not sleep, unless next to me, in my arms, or attached to my boob….it forced me to give up so many expectations of what I thought motherhood would be. So many expectations I had of myself, and didn’t even realise. Letting go of my fears and failures. Letting go of my control. And, honestly, letting go of the vice-like grip I want to maintain on this tiny human. His independence terrifies me, and exhilarates me all at once. Ah the paradox of motherhood.
It makes no logical sense. He’s ruined me, this boy. My son…..words that still feel foreign to me.
And I am reminded of another mother. A mother who stood at the foot of a bloodied cross….and let go. Watching her precious firstborn son become a mocked, ridiculed, mangled, broken, and bleeding mess. She let go without fully understanding. I can’t even imagine that pain. She watched her hope die….in darkness and in grief. Without fully knowing that moment was the moment her Hope was actually birthed….how did she not scream out ‘TAKE ME INSTEAD!!!!’? How did she let go?
….Because she knew her son. And she knew her Father. And isn’t that the key to our surrender? Our surrender in the midst of the most horrific pain we know. Of watching the things and people we love most, die?
This is the Father who also let go of His son. Not only let go, but turned his back. What parent would ever turn their back when their child cries out, ‘If this is possible, remove this cup from me?’…. ‘Why have you forsaken me?’
He rejected, forsook, poured out His wrath….and heaped all of the anguish, betrayal, horror, and blackness that is sin on His precious Son…..So that he might rescue all of His lost children. That is an impossible choice that no parent wants to face. Yet our Father did. He faced into it. For love.
We live on the other side of resurrection. We can know now the hope of the third day. Through the midst of all the darkness and pain.
And in this seemingly insignificant letting go in my life…I can know that the loss I feel, as it does….gives birth to something far greater and more beautiful. I don’t know what that is yet….but that is the hope we have. The hope of resurrection.
Indeed. In all our ‘little’ and deep letting goes, in all the mundane and normal, all the big and excruciating moments of life….they are sowing the seeds of resurrection.
And I, for one, can’t wait to see what they become.
‘See? I am making all things new.’