Always Enough

Today began in exhaustion. Ronin, Oak, and I have all been awake since 4:30am - Oak has been sick and having night terrors and Ronin is, well, a newborn. It's also my first, full day solo with my boys.
The past few days, I have created a lot of fear around not being, or being able to do, enough as a homemaker. I was resolving this fear with the closed perspective that I was just not going to be able to take good care of myself, I was going to fall short, and the boys' needs were simply not going to be met - that was that. No need to be falsely optimistic or upbeat. My exact words to Robby when he asked how I was feeling about his return to work were, I'm not proud to admit, “Well, it's going to be f***ing hard. That's about all.”
I later realized that, by believing in advance that I wouldn't be enough, I was attempting to avoid disappointing myself. After processing my feelings with Robby, I released some of that rigid negativity. Of course this transition will be hard and I'll fall short, but there will be good in it, too, I affirmed, and I'll have moments when I feel I have done well. I remembered that I have autonomy in how I receive my experiences. I attuned to my more naturally positive posture - rather than deciding how anything would be ahead of time, one way or the other, I would honor each moment holistically and resist assigning “Pass” or “Fail” marks to every hour.
Despite a rough start, the boys and I still had a pleasant morning. We took the new dynamic in stride. We made a brief venture to a park and had fun. Miraculously, probably out of sheer exhaustion on everyone's part, even nap time (my most dreaded time of the day to navigate solo) began relatively smoothly. Oak crashed in his bed with little effort on my part shortly before Ronin fell asleep. This happened around 12:15pm. Score! Beginner's luck! Then, both boys slept 2 hours. Holy moly. The universe granted me the extra sleep I needed desperately. Mama nap achieved. What a gift!
I heard Oak waking up and went to grab him, leaving Ronin sleeping in the big bed. Oak was still so drowsy and motioned to lay on the bed with his brother when we came back into the room. I laid him down - I thought he and Ronin were both waking up shortly. Nope. They both conked out again, side by side. What were the odds?
Then...Oak rolled over in his sleep and took his brother's hand. They snuggled for almost another full hour, both boys in and out of sleep only to physically reconnect with the other before drifting off again. It's a wild, cosmic feeling to look at two little beings so in love with each other and realize, "Wow...I made both of those." Yet the words of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran reverberated in my soul as I gazed at them sleeping:
"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you."
Nevertheless, my heart exploded with wonder because these two clearly belong to one another.
The sweet surrender of my children and their gentleness to one another granted their mother some grace today, allowing me to learn by example the balance between releasing expectations AND trusting in abundance, simultaneously. I couldn't have planned or perfected this joyful experience of presence by anticipating or prejudging it. I can only receive it, and the countless difficult and pleasant moments to come, with gratitude and humility as they arrive. I can only tenderly embrace my days like my boys embrace one another, as companions and teachers...beloved brothers.
I was afraid of being too tired to cope with today; I realize many more days like this will come and that they will not always go well according to my hopes or plans. I will not always cope. However, I can try to release my hopes and plans to be guided by my children, as The Prophet suggests:
“You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”
Oak woke up, snuggled into my chest, and said in his sweet, not-yet-two lilting voice, “I wuv you, Mommy.” Then he bent forward and kissed Ronin's forehead: “I wuv you, Ronin.” Trusting that there are hidden gems of restorative beauty along the way, both glittering jewels and diamonds in the rough, will keep me walking forward in the dark. I will never be enough...and yet there is somehow always, always enough.