Yesterday was Lann’s fifteenth birthday.
It has been fifteen years since I started to become forged in the fires of motherhood.
Fifteen years since I brought that first baby to my breast and offered him my life.
Mothering has been hard on my personality, but good for my soul. And, this little baby, whose soft head I cupped in the night and cried while worrying he would grow up to be a “bad teenager,” has always been so easy to love (and he isn’t bad at all!). He was a sensitive and high-need baby, who grew into a timid and creative toddler, and then into an energetic, high-spirited, playful, expressive kid, and then now into a still-sensitive, but calm, helpful, easy-going, cooperative, pleasant, kind, creative, capable teenager.
From 8lbs4oz to 5’11 in just a few years, on the morning of his birthday when we measured him to see how tall he is, I found myself crying. And, then I remembered something I wrote in 2011:
The tears that may spring unbidden to our eyes in the future when our growing child makes us remember this potency of early childhood, the very fact that we look back with such a pang, means that we did a very, very good job with the savoring—if we hadn’t savored, we wouldn’t know how to feel so deeply later.
I became an artist because of my babies. When I was pregnant with Lann, I made numerous small needle felted birth goddesses to prepare me for birth. His birth introduced me to the goddess as an embodied reality and I started to consider that the power that I felt course through me as a birthing woman, might just be available to me all the time, not just while pregnant and laboring. With my second pregnancy, I continued to create needle-felted goddess sculptures. During my fifth pregnancy, following two devastating losses, I started to create goddesses in clay as a means to heal my grief, to reintroduce Pregnant Woman into my identity, to give me the courage and trust to birth again, and to create a 3-D journal of my life. These little hand-held goddesses spoke to others too and from that original process of self-exploration, honoring, and healing, the whole of Brigid’s Grove was born.