At first glance, freedom seems one of the first things to go when you embark on the course of motherhood. And I won’t lie—a lot of freedom does get sacrificed in the name of naps, schedules, domestic routines. But I am not going to go down that well-trodden path of what we lose. What I had secretly yearned for when I wanted to have children, was that I would be filled with a love I had never felt before, a love so powerful and all consuming that it would change my life.
My love is a wild horse, galloping after my daughter as she strides away on her bike. She turns back once or twice to make sure I am following. My love is a swimming pool that my son floats in, his upturned ribs and closed eyes a picture of grace amidst outrageous splashes.
My children have given me the freedom of an unrestrained heart. A heart that falls head over heels, over and over. I watch my independent daughter insist on getting dressed herself, putting her legs into arm holes, turning dresses into skirts, wearing t-shirt over t-shirt on a steaming hot Colorado day. Some hard spot in my heart melts and I can imagine what stones in river feel, worn away by the force of softness.
I watch my son struggle to learn to ride a pedal bike, watch his unplanned legs pedaling uphill, weaving in the strain. I can’t tell, for one brief instant, where his legs end and mine can take over.
The freedom to love wildly has its valleys too…I go through dark spaces where it all seems like a struggle holding up the world for my children, getting them to go outside and move their bodies and eat their “strong” foods and play nicely and tell the truth and wash their hands and clean up. Some days I just want to curl up and let someone else take over the hard work of loving. But it chooses me again, each morning, I can not abdicate or resign.
I am on a wild ride of love—this is what I want to do with my one wild and precious life. Learn to love well and fully and without reserve and with unresentful gladness. The expansion of the heart is infinite…
What kind of freedom has motherhood bestowed on you? How have you gotten more wild?