In January, my family travelled to Little Traverse Lake in Northern Michigan. It is a special spot for my husband. His family has been visiting here—summer and winter—for generations. Upon our arrival, abundant snow greeted us; we hurried to the lakeshore in our boots to take in the scenery. It was a moment of motherhood that has stuck with me ever since.
I stood where white clouds met stark snow banks of a frozen lake and felt the palpable quiet of the sleeping earth. The silence was broken only by the shrieks of delight cast by my son as he explored the tundra. I soaked in the scenery, a slice of pure Michigan, an exuberant little boy, and a husband whose face radiated joy. I studied the details of the day and felt resounding peace wash over me.
I collect these moments. I tuck them away in a mental curio drawer, as precious treasures, to pull out during moments of motherhood that feel anything but tranquil. The quiet and peace in my life play peek-a-boo along with my two-year-old son. With another baby boy on the way this summer, will frenzy rule in our newborn season? Will I still feel the magic of motherhood?
Sometimes I ache with worry about how our family will expand with baby number two. I question how I will handle the needs of a baby and a toddler while still trying to maintain healthy relationships with myself, my husband, and friends. I pray for the grace to accompany this transition with abiding love and patience. I pray to feel the magic of motherhood endure through these times.
That day in January, as I watched my family scene unfold, I also let myself acknowledge feelings of a different kind. I recalled the hardships of giving birth via emergency c-section. I remembered the desperation of feeling lost in my own body while navigating the world of around-the-clock breastfeeding. I unlocked the memories of quarrelling with my husband over newly established family dynamics and the sinking feeling that once had me question my identity through the lens of motherhood. I don’t dwell on the hardships that are part of becoming a mom. But once in a while, it feels pertinent to acknowledge that those things happened. Because when I do reflect on the path that brought me to the edge of that peaceful Michigan lake, I see that it was all worth it. I can’t wait to add more magical moments of motherhood with my second son.
My mental snapshot of a beautiful winter sky and my beaming son is a priceless reminder that there will be peaks and valleys. My heart will carry the memory of those January days as a charm to remember that there are places in motherhood, as well as in Michigan, where the sky meets the snow and magic unfolds.