zaterdag 25 april 2015

Seasons of Life

Spring is in the air. At least in Europe it is. Right before I left Belgium daffodils in gardens and on street corners were starting to pop up and the freezing wind made way for a much softer breeze. Although in Qatar there is not much spring to be felt -we are just transitioning from *normal* summer to *hot summer*-, I am reminded of spring when I look at my son. Everything about him is *new* and *fresh*, like a little daffodil slowly emerging from the dirt. Innocently discovering this world that is still so new and fascinating to him.

For some time after he was born though I felt like I, on the other hand, was emerged in winter. I felt like everything about my life was frozen. Everything had slowed and stopped in time. *Is this my life from now on?* I would ask my scared reflection in the mirror. Days would consist of being stuck on the couch for hours on end with a nursing baby, diaper changes and failed attempts at trying to take a shower. Nights existed of more nursing, not enough sleep and wet PJ`s. Days and nights were so similar I would lose track of what actual day it was. It all became a blur. And I feared it would never end. It really felt like it would never end. 

But somehow it did. The snow melted. Gradually my life got defrosted and things starting moving again. There would be less nursing, more sleep, less diaper changes, although still the occasional wet PJ. Gradually there would be time again to do the stuff I did before my son was born: read a book, crochet.
The sun would no longer keep hiding behind the clouds and little daffodils started to emerge. But spring is unpredictable. Especially in Europe. There can still be hail, rain, even freezing temperatures are not uncommon. Some aspects of my life still remain *frozen*. 

Being a new (stay at home) mom in a foreign country means there is very little social contact. Especially after 2 of my dear friends left the country, there is hardly any adult interaction to be had. It is lonely.

And so I should *do* something, right? That`s what people during my visit a few weeks ago kept asking: *What are you going to do now?*, *Are you going to work now?*, *Are you having a second baby soon?* I understand where those questions are coming from. In the first months of being a mom I sometimes desperately wanted to climb into a time machine and get teleported to 2020. Or any later date. When my son will be going to school, won`t nurse anymore, sleep through the night, be able to communicate and tell me what is bothering him. When I would do all the things I can`t do now: get back to work, maybe study, continue traveling, have a social life again. I would desperately wait for summer to begin.

But a few weeks ago when I was watching those daffodils and I looked at my son and how he mastered a new skill, I realized this season will pass sooner than I actually wish it would. I realized just how fleeting this time of our lives is if we look at the big picture. This season will pass. All of this will pass. Nothing lasts forever, only Allah.

But just like that daffodil needs water, sunlight and even more so time, to grow, spring will grow into summer in its due time. 

I never really had a favorite season: winter, spring, summer, autumn. I loved aspects of every season: the blossoming trees in spring, the summer sun, the beautiful foliage in fall and the crisping snow beneath my shoes in winter. So I decided to love every season in this life too. This season is not an easy one, but I decided to marvel in its beauty instead. Being able to be so close to my son in this season of his life is truly a gift. I cherish every moment as I know now this season will end one day. I know now that summer will be here all too soon...

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