I was in my mid-twenties when my mom remarried. Through this union I gained two new brothers. These boys are different, like night and day, but strangely I love spending time with them, in this weird way they give me comfort. Not because our relationships are so deep-in honesty we’re still getting to know each other-but because they let us become a part of their family, as if it were always meant to be this way. And maybe it was.
For a brief period, while I was pregnant with my daughter, the older brother and my little family overlapped living at our parents house. Our circumstances were different, but we were in a place of transition and needed some breathing room to uncover the next step.
The house felt full, it’s not the house I grew up in, but with all the people filling it’s quarters it, for that season, felt like home. A place of refuge.
The pregnancy was difficult, I was confined to a bed or chair, and could only be on my feet for a short amount of time before my legs and feet would burn and swell. The pain would sneak up on me and my mom would send me to lay down. I felt like a child, but was so thankful to have the help.
Some mornings I’d wake up early and aimlessly wander around the house, my body stiff and bruised from being in bed so much. There he would be, sitting with something hot in his hands, staring out in almost a trance like state.
The first time I caught him sitting quietly I shyed away, hoping I hadn’t I interrupted, although I’m sure I had. It became almost ritual, him sitting, me slinking around the kitchen as quietly as an uncomfortable pregnant woman can.
One morning as I made a cup of coffee (yes I drank coffee while pregnant) I awakardly said “so, whatca doin?” He said something to the effect of “just starting my day.”
I remembered those moments, those early mornings before motherhood where I’d meet the morning sun. Where I’d silently drink my coffee and read my Bible. Where I’d journal, reflect, meditate. It felt so long ago.
During my pregnancy I lived in a restless haze, one in which day and night merged together without rhythm. I’d wake still tired, never rested; it’s a fog that is just now lifting.
Even now I wake nonesencally throughout the night; was the baby crying, what was that sound? Sometimes in the middle of the night I spring from the bed, as if it were on fire, I mutter something waking myself up, only to realize I’m dreaming. My head is heavy on my pillow and morning comes too soon.
But it comes…
With birds chirping and trees swaying in the breeze, the babes rest peacefully. I’ve met this day before they have. I make the coffee and sit in my chair. My hands and mind almost don’t know what to do with the silence. I instinctively reach for my phone, and then out loud I say “no, no, watch the birds.” I’m uncomfortable with how unproductive this is, and yet I’m beginning to feel something I haven’t in a long time.
They flit and flutter about. I stare out the large windows, very still, very quiet. So quiet I’m aware of my own breath. Oh hello breath, it’s been a while. I exhale fully, sip my coffee and repeat in my head, “watch the birds.”
And so I sit still, like I watched my step-brother do. I start my day. It feels like the first time I’ve started my day rather than the other way around. It feels good, peaceful, intentional.
Put the phone down, distractions away, and watch the birds.