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I am thrilled to share with you the series of guest posts appearing here in the coming weeks, as I take a little extra time to settle in and soak up my family and the new life among us. "Soulful Mothering" is a series of written words, photographs, craft projects and thoughts on mothering from some of my favorite ladies on the web. I'm so grateful to each of them for sharing their time with me, and their hearts and words in this space. I have been inspired by the gifts they've shared, and I'm sure you will too. Enjoy!
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i began as the mother of babes.
and i mean that, for i was born then, too.
all of the me that had begun,
the wonderings and wanderings of my first three decades,
melted away in the faces of those new babies
and i was born anew.
i spent the next decade tending.
and tending, i did well. it was my thing, apparently.
i grew into it, and i loved every minute.
you know that to be a gentle lie.
there were quite a few minutes of awful. of anguish, even.
and so much comedy, uncertainty, dishevelment.
some of my babes are almost grown.
do not kid yourself about how quickly that happens.
do not kid yourself and do not miss a second wishing those
wonderfully intense, delicious early years away.
for it happens even as you are watching them.
and as much as you need to lose yourself to care for those newborn babes, those littles-
when they have grown to your size almost-when their feet may be as big!-
it is then that you need to find yourself again.
you need to grow.
for then, as they come upon ten; at twelve maybe...fourteen certainly;
then you must find yourself in order to know how to guide them. you must be the you
that you want to be,
so that the you they are growing up against and alongside, is the you that you want them to know.
for here's the thing:
in the end,
what you want for them most of all is to leave you.
to leave your house to become who they will be.
and when they are gone
who do you want to be left with?
my wish is that my own answer
is the me that was born out of mothering them.
and the man that's loved me all along the way.
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tara lives with her husband, tim, and their six daughters in a little yellow house that has recently acquired a clothesline.
you can read more about their days at public:: bookstore and see tara's photos on Flickr and find prints of tara and tim's art in the public::bookstore Etsy shop.