Mothering in the Half-Light

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Motherhood has its hard moments, but it also has these glimpses of extraordinary beauty that I hope we never grow too cynical or too preoccupied to miss.

My Dad said last night that I was a “sport” for hanging out on the dock fishing so long with my boys. But honestly, I was the one with the spectacular view: my boy and the twilight, a living metaphor in so many ways of the cusp of time where boy and man meet.

I don’t want to forget as I mother them in these years of in-between what a privilege it is to have my view—to glance and see both the boy so full of life and innocence and wonder and the man he’s becoming strong, brave, and capable.

Because if I look at this moment in time, sometimes I see the boy who gets too easily frustrated that his hands can’t yet do what his mind understands and sometimes I see the man who perseveres despite setback; sometimes I see the boy who giggles at a wriggling worm and sometimes the man who doesn’t bat an eye; and sometimes I see the boy who wants to ask for my help and sometimes the man who wants to offer me his hand. Both are beautiful in their own way, and both of them are alive here in these days of in-between.

I think if we can remember that these years are extraordinary because they are a mixture of both, perhaps we can have more compassion and more awe. At twilight, we don’t curse it because there isn’t enough sun to see the ball or shake our fist that it’s not dark enough to see the stars. We gasp at the colors and hues of this margin-world where day and night collide.

Maybe you’re mothering in the in-between of baby and toddler or the teenage years or those launching years of young adulthood—where do you glimpse the both/and of dependence and burgeoning independence? Can you rejoice in the half-light as a place of wonder?

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