Transitional Seasons of Motherhood – A Collection of Heartfelt Stories
By: Melissa Harper | Date: December 28 2019
Ever Shifting Roles
By Lorren Lemmons
I missed my son’s first birthday. I was working fifty hours a week in a new graduate nursing residency, and my schedule was nonnegotiable. I raced to my car when my shift ended, but the typically forty-minute commute tripled due to a car accident on the 101. Crying, I parked my car on the freeway and prayed to make it home before bedtime.
He’d opened presents at his birthday party the weekend before, but I’d saved one gift for his real birthday—a toy puppy from the hospital gift shop. I imagined him cuddling his puppy through the seasons of childhood until it became a ragged souvenir imbued with happy memories.
I finally made it home. My husband cradled our dozing son in his arms. I sobbed and kissed the baby, whispering “Happy Birthday” as he blinked sleepily. I tucked the puppy under my son’s arm and he nestled into the soft fur.
Much has changed in the three years since that missed birthday. I quit my demanding job shortly after our second son was born. We left our tiny apartment in Los Angeles for a home in the Pacific Northwest. The puppy that comforted my little boy through day-care drop-offs and ear infections has been set aside for trains and Star Wars.
Yesterday, however, when my second son was crying, his brother disappeared from the room. He returned with an older, wiser version of the puppy I’d tucked into his sweet, sticky hands years before. The baby’s tears turned to joyful giggles as he covered Doggy’s dirty nose with open-mouthed kisses. That night, chubby fingers again clutched the puppy’s pilled, over-washed fur.
In motherhood, roles are ever shifting, following the ebb and flow of our children’s needs. Like Doggy, we wait steadfastly, ready when our children need us.
Lorren Lemmons is a mama to two blue-eyed boys, a military wife, a nurse, a bibliophile, and a writer. She recently moved to Washington state with her family. She blogs about books, motherhood, and her undying love for Trader Joe’s at When Life Gives You Lemmons. Her work has been featured in Upwrite Magazine, Literary Mama, the Good Mother Project, and Segullah.