anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Poems of Motherhood | January 2020

I started writing poems every night before bed. Brian has kindly, once again, taken the 8-midnight "shift" so I can get some sleep. I was going to pare these down and share only a few, but I loved them all so much that I decided to share them all.

For Everly

They told me that seeing him small
Would make you seem big
They rushed you onward 
Because he was just beginning

And I wondered if they would be right
To see a tiny baby next to my first baby

It only made me see you small again
To realize
How fast the time went from when you were tiny

It made me want to hold you both close
And take in all of every moment
The tiny 
The big
My babies


I went to the hospital
Belly full
Unsure of how this time might go
But grateful that the end of this chapter was here

I went to our hospital room
Arms full
As they wheeled me to recovery
My tiny Greyson, still unnamed, but here
With me
Instead of hooked to monitors

And I waited
For the moment
When this would seem strange
To have an empty belly
To know it had housed two babies there
That this body that had learned to carry life inside me and in my arms

And it didn’t 

I came home
To my beautiful girl 
Holding my beautiful boy
And started over with my heart full
Once again

For Brian

Our moments are few now.
So few
I take in the small things
The clasped hands during dinner prayer
The way we circle together around Everly before bed
The tradeoff of children so we can hold the other

Our moments are different now 
So different 
But I would not trade them
I traded our life as a couple alone to have these babies
And when I look at them I see us
Echoing down through time
In a way that they don’t understand yet
In a way that I didn’t understand 

I see something beautiful and whole carrying on in these little growing bodies
Made from scratch 

I would not trade them
And I would not trade you

For Greyson

You are small
Just a helpless thing 
I’d forgotten the delicateness of newborns
How your tiny hands are strong 
But fragile

You’re still figuring out how to move
To eat
To sleep

We meet alone in the night
You drink sleepily
And I try to remember that this is our only time uninterrupted 

When you can be my only
 for a few minutes 
before I place you back in the Moses basket beside our bed

For Everly

Oh sweet one
We have had many rough days
Days when I wasn’t sure you liked me anymore
Days when it felt like Daddy was never coming home
Days when I wondered whether I would ever be enough for both you and Greyson

I still wonder that

But today
Today was the worst it has ever been
You screamed
You cried
You bit both daddy and I when you couldn’t calm down

And I was helpless

Both of us. Helpless. 

We held you as you raged
Let you break over us with your sadness

I hope you noticed that we didn’t shy away from it
Even though we didn’t know what to do
I hope you noticed that we loved you just the same
Even after you hurt us

For Brian

We left our babies
Headed to the temple
Knelt across an altar
Just like the one we were wedded across

It always makes me feel like a newlywed
So lucky to be holding hands with you
Feeling the hope and love swell and echo through the mirrors behind your head and mine

I’m always hoping that someone will catch us smiling at each other
Gently stroking your hand with my thumb
Winking as we listen to the sealer

I’m hoping that they will see the love 
That it will remind them of their own

Because we have something special, Captain

For Everly

You run everywhere
To me
Whenever you hear someone coming
Away from me
When I have to pick Greyson over you 
When you don’t get your way

Was a good day
Even though you spent 20 minutes of it crying while I fed Greyson
Even though you didn’t nap
Even though Daddy came home late

Somehow you stayed mostly happy
We read stories
We played with your truck

And you ran and reminded me just how much I love the sound of your tiny feet pounding across the tile

For Greyson

You are a happy boy
When you smile your mouth opens wide
Your tongue lifts to the roof of your mouth
And your eyes sparkle 

I didn’t think I’d get so lucky again 


One of the beautiful things about marriage
Is that I know that Brian thinks I’m beautiful
And that the way he sees me has little to do with how I look

So when I’m big with a baby
He sees his wife
When I am counting the wrinkles in my extra skin on my tummy
He sees his best friend
When I am unshowered and wearing glasses and the same thing I wore two days ago
He sees the mother of his children

He sees me
When I am too blind to see myself

For Brian

I love that we look at each other
We watch our babies
Then we look at each other and smile

Did you see what our tiny humans just did?
Did you catch that smile? Or that laugh? Or the way she said “ayson” for the 100th time today?

It’s a simple look
But so much is shared
In just a glance

Sometimes I worry I’m annoying you
Wanting to share those moments
Glancing at you too often
But then I see you glancing back
It makes me brave

For Everly

Today you said “Momma”
And wanted me
Even though Daddy was home
You wanted my lap
My arms holding you

You let me stroke your hair
Leaned your small body against my chest

It made me feel full
My walk around heart come home to me for just a few minutes 
it was like taking a breath you didn’t know you’d been holding
You got along fine without it
But now you knew how much you missed it

For Greyson

You’re different than your sister
And I confess that it has been harder to bond with you
We only have the nights
Or when Everly is napping

But, man
If you haven’t still got those tiny fingers wrapped around my heart
I needed you
When you were still kicking around in me
I needed those kicks
Those twists and little nudges 
To know that something good was coming

Now I need those big smiles
The weight of your little body in my arms
The feel of your silk soft hair against my fingertips 
To know that something good is here

That these little moments are fleeting
So that I don’t hate Monday’s 
So that I don’t wish away 4 AM feeds for sleep

This stage of motherhood has taken so much from me
It has stretched me to breaking
But I pick up the pieces
Watch them fit back together in new ways around you

Realize that I like the way this picture is forming. 

For Brian

You sacrifice your sleep for me
Hold our tiny babe as he screams and cries
In a closet so I can dream

I know what that takes
To let the tiny humans slowly leach the patience from you
To let them wear you down emotionally while your spouse is sleeping in the next room
To let the tears fall while they are all oblivious

It means so much to me
That you think I’m worth all that

For Everly

There you are
My happy girl

I thought you were never coming back
I thought that a new Everly had been born with Greyson
A sad Everly

I loved her just as much

But I missed my happy girl
I missed the way you jumped into my arms
The way you seemed to radiate joy 
It seemed a core part of you before he was born
And now it’s back again 

For Everly

Today is your due date
2 years ago
And I can’t help but think of those moments leading up to you being born

It changed everything 

My tiny little babe who changed me

Now I’m thinking of how your golden hair piled in stacks in my hand yesterday as we trimmed your bangs
How you fell off a chair this morning and you cuddled into me the way you used to when you were small

When you were small

You have already grown so much
And its only been 2 years

Now you echo me when I put you to sleep
“So much” you say 
Because I tell you how much I love you as I lay you down
“Dreams” you say 
Because I wish you sweet dreams

I hope someday these poems carry to you the honor that I feel watching you grow
Just a snippet of the love I feel raising you

For Greyson

You smile at me now
When I have time to lay you in my lap
Listen to you coo
And talk to you 
Look into those ring of endless light eyes 

You smile

And it makes me feel like a new momma again
Proud of this tiny one in my lap
Meeting a big spirit in a little body for the first time

There is wonder
There is awe
There is honor in these moments that no one will ever see. 

For Brian

You kissed me
Like you loved me
Not that you ever don’t 

But some kisses are special
They take me back to the kiss that convinced me to date you
To the kisses on the front porch when we had to say goodnight
To the kiss after we were newly married

Kisses like that make me feel like a person
Not just a wife
Or a mother
Or a daughter 

A person
A Rachael

For Everly

You are 2

I went from having a toddler to a preschooler overnight 

You are still my sweet girl
Just a little bigger than yesterday 
Growing up is hard
I’m glad to be here with you through it

Thanks for reading! Especially if you read to the end! I would love it if you would comment your favorite poem or one that you connected to 😊

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