36, 37, 2.5, and 5.
Our ages. A combined number of eighty and a half years on this earth. Two completed childhoods. Two master's degrees. Two careers. Two children.
Two lives just beginning, and yet moving with heartbreaking swiftness.
I close my eyes, and he's resting in my arms, sated and full after a feeding. His eyelids like rice paper, his mouth opened into a rosebud. For hours, we sat together in that glider, and I held him. I whispered my hopes and felt gratitude grow inside me, a new organ pumping humility and awe to each corner of my body.
And then came our second. I couldn't bask in him, as I did his brother. Preferring open spaces and sunlight, he wanted the freedom away from my arms. When he did allow me to smell his little head, it was like eating a truffle, each moment fleeting and delicious.
Now neither is a baby. The oldest is riding the big yellow bus next year, and my baby will start preschool two days a week. They need me less and less for basic functional needs, proving adept at making their own sandwiches and selecting clothes for the day.
It's just the start of their lives, and I feel like mine is shifting yet again. As it should. As magic as those moments were in that glider, my hands did grow numb, and my mind yearned to discuss ideas.
There were many days blurred with the heavy curtain of exhaustion. Many days of tears.
I'm leaving that behind, the sweetness and the drudgery. I am the mother of children, not babies.
As they begin their lives, which are separate from my own, I too, must separate. I must rediscover who else I am.
It began with the travel. It continues with the morning pages and the running. And yet, I long for more.
I return to those numbers, the four frames of my heart home.
37. I strive to read for at least thirty-seven minutes each night. To rediscover the books that challenged me, inspired me, helped me see the world.
36. I will do thirty six push ups or sit ups each day, so I can continue to keep up with the many men in my life, and live as long as I can.
5. I will reach out to five people outside of my family each day. I will pick up the phone, send a card, or meet in person. I will make human connections.
2.5 I will meditate. I will stop, listen, and simply wait for the still, quiet voice of the divine to guide me. For at almost three minutes a day, I will turn off the volume.
These numbers are as part of me as my skin, my hair, my daily breath. Even as circumstances and the numbers themselves change, they still inspire. I lean on them as they lean on me.