Someone once said that endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.
In the face of hard things, and there have been many, I have always thought of myself as an Endurer. I have always believed that I seek out the goodness and the beauty no matter how deeply buried it is amongst the Hard. I have always thought that I turn suffering into meaning. Hard into Glory.
Truth be told, I think I just wait for the Glory, for the “this too shall pass” moment, and cling on white-knuckled and desperate, doing nothing to change, until that moment comes. I just bear until I don’t have to bear anymore. There is no glory-turning going on. Not really. I don’t actually do anything. Unless, of course, cursing and crying and dreading are doing things. I just bear, because I know the moments will one day change without me having to change.
I should really work on that.
Anyway, Motherhood, it seems, has been no different.
And finally, finally, the Glory has appeared.
There have been moments of Glory before, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, huge showers. Flooding, in fact. But the Hard has always outweighed the Glory. The Work has always trumped the Good.
Now, the Glory outweighs the Hard. A friend once told me that the first three months are the hardest. For me, the first six have been. Maybe I’m a slow learner. It’s highly possible.
But now? Ella is a person now. She gives back. She doesn’t just take. Now there is laughing. Now there is gazing at one another, open eyes and open smiles. Now there is play. Now she has her likes and dislikes and I love, love, love getting a sense of who she is. I love what she likes and dislikes. Now, I sleep for longer. Now, I spend my days calling Joel at work, my dreamy voice dripping with euphoria and sweetness, and ask if we can have another one right now. Now, Joel remembers why he loves me. Now, he does not clasp his hands to his chest privately praying for a miracle. And by miracle I mean a woman who does not wake every morning and eye him with a begrudging glare as he quickly calculates what the last thing he said to her was and what he might be in trouble for.
These have been my days.
It’s spending afternoons in the backyard, the sunlight filtering through the trees and thanking the stars above that I’m lucky enough to stay at home and be with her.
It’s having these eyes locked on me. Huge and bright and curious and innocent.
It’s the bond we share. The fun we have when we’re not really doing anything at all.
And then there is him. Him with her.
Nothing beats witnessing those two together. Nothing.
So much Glory.
P.S. Our retreat starts on Monday. Exciiiiiiiiiiiting!