The days of Sen

2 years ago, I was a mom, but my role was extremely different than it is now. I was working full-time, in graduate school full-time, and then trying to be an involved mother whenever possible. Collin was the primary caregiver in our family, and he was the one who cooked all the food and kept the home fires burning. He changed the majority of diapers (all cloth, to his credit); he put her down for her naps and for bed a lot of nights while I was at work or at class. He knew all her favorite songs and books and toys. He knew what her favorite foods were and how to get her calm down when she was fussy. He entertained and cared for our baby girl almost all day every day.

 

Then we switched roles. And moved to California. And I remember that first day he drove off on his motorcycle to work in Marina Del Rey for a cut-throat marketing firm and I stayed home with Sen all day for the first time ever. As the sound of his motorcycle faded into the distance, the realization that it was just me and Sen (and Zuri, of course) crystallized.

 

“So. What do you want to do today?” I asked my 15 month old friend. I had so much to learn about her, about our relationship, and about myself as a mother.

 

My motherhood looks so vastly different now; I spend my days (and honestly still a good chunk of my nights) with my tiny pal, Sen. Besides the fact that my role changed from being a full-time working mom to being a primary caregiver, Senya herself has changed so drastically since that first day we spent together in Topanga, California. She’s quite the conversationalist now, and she has a lot of excellent opinions. She has a highly developed will, a fantastic sense of humor, is unbelievably emotionally intelligent and expressive, and she is extremely physically active. It takes everything I’ve got to keep up with this little package of tremendous person.

 

I have always loved hard work with a good pay off. I love climbing mountains, backpacking, running (all of which are on hold at this point of almost full-term pregnancy). I loved both undergrad and my master’s program, and my favorite professors were the ones who pushed me the most to do my best work.

 

And that is what it’s like for me to parent. It’s intense. It’s challenging. It takes everything I’ve got. And it’s rewarding. It’s meaningful. It’s beautiful beyond words to know another human being so well, to care so closely and so intricately for someone that they feel as familiar as another being can. To be wanted and loved so innately by someone is sacred; to be so needed by someone else is something I don’t take lightly. As my good friend Sarah once said to me about the business of raising kids, “It’s their SOULS [that we’re shaping, that we’re influencing, that we’re in charge of nurturing]!” That’s an enormous responsibility.

 

Anyway, all this to say, I think from time to time while I’m in the midst of being with Sen during the day, “I should blog about this; I should write a paper on that.” By the time I sit down with my computer at night, though, I can’t remember a darn thing. I know I wanted to expound on our recent switch back to eating a whole foods and plant based diet. I wanted to get really specific and make it interesting and attainable yet factual and science based why we have been adhering to a vegan diet again.

 

And now after my day is done, I’m finally sitting here trying to compose a blog post. And when I think of the topic of being vegan, the only mental note I took that I remember is to say, “freeze your bananas.” You won’t regret it.

 

I’ll make it back here sometime soon(ish) to report on the plant based eating. But until then, I’ll just say that I’m happy to give my resources to my tiny friend. Last night as she was drifting to sleep she said to me, “Because I am only 2, tomorrow I will run and jump and play. But one day, I’ll have to go to school.”

 

And she’s right. This is her moment to be free and wild. These are the days I will always remember and I will never regret.

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**Really, though, if you’re making a protein shake, a smoothie, or anything blended…adding frozen banana will make it so much better. I keep bananas sliced and in a container in the freezer so that they are ready to just blend anytime I’m making a protein shake (which is at least once a day).

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16 Responses to The days of Sen

  1. Mom says:

    beautiful linds…being a mom, or dad, is the most sacred job in the world …and i love you reflecting on this, because sometimes we are so engrossed in the process we don’t step back and marvel at the relationship and the little person developing right in front of our eyes…with all their delightful uniqueness ….sen and juniper are so blessed to have you for a mom ( well zuri and tuk too)

    • Lindsay says:

      Thanks, mom! You’ve been such an encouragement to me on this journey of motherhood. You stepped into my life in such a desperate time that year that my commitments were bigger than I was! Your love for me (and my whole little fam) has been such a source of life and strength.

  2. Sare says:

    Linds!!!! I loved reading this so much!!!! You are such an amazing and beautiful person and mom and I’m honored to have you for a friend! Sen is so blessed and lucky to have you guys for parents! I love how you soak up the moments- it’s so true, you will always remember and never regret!! Love and miss you so much!!!!

    • Lindsay says:

      Sare! It IS their souls! I had to share it! And thanks for being such a good friend, an inspiration as a mom, and someone who, in general, always reaches to be the best version of who you can be. You’re beautiful in every way.

      • Sare says:

        Linds!!!! I will never forget being at your old house, eating dinner with you guys and we were talking about kids and I said ” It’s their souls”! and you and Col looked at each other and we all started laughing! Linds, thank you ,too for being such a good friend!!! I feel the same about you! You are beautiful in every way!!! Miss you guys!!!

  3. Grandad says:

    Lindsay, what a beautiful and sentamental description of your role in life. We are blessed to have you in our family. Praying for your wellbeing. Love you.

    • Lindsay says:

      Thank you so much, Grandad! Your love and kind words mean so much to me. I’m so thankful, too, to be in your family. And to think—Collin and henceforth Senya and baby Juniper wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you! So, thank YOU!

  4. Lauren says:

    Lindsay,

    Reading this warmed my heart. I have three days (including weekends) a week that I am home with my little Zoey. It is wonderful and exhausting all at the same time. When I reach the end of the day I think of things that I would like to do and yet I am also tired of going. Thank you for sharing your joy in motherhood but also the challenges. I go to your mom’s on Thursday mornings and love seeing pictures of you and your little girl. I pray for an easy delivery of your next one and many wonderful blessings to come.

    • Lindsay says:

      Hi Lauren! Thanks for reading and commenting! It’s true; it is both exhausting AND wonderful to be a parent. That combination is true of some of the best things in life! Sharing the challenges and admitting that something sacred also takes hard work has been liberating for me. I think so many moms (those who work outside the home and those who don’t) feel like they are doing something wrong when it feels so intensely difficult. But often, those are the moms who care A LOT about the little people in whom they are investing. And if you are working another job too, that adds a dimension of juggling roles and answering to different people who all expect to be your top priority. Keep up the good work! And tell the “Thursdays” I said “hello!” That’s a wonderful group of women!

  5. Rachel says:

    Love this Linds! You are an amazing mom and it’s so good to read your thoughts about days with your sweet girl.

  6. Lindsay says:

    Thanks, Rachel! You are inspiration, lady! I love seeing your love for Lily and August and how tangible that is in all your pictures, blog posts, and choices in life. I love, too, seeing how you and Slate work together so much as a team to create such a beautiful family together. Thanks for reading!

  7. Dad says:

    Beautiful & erudite.

  8. Jessic says:

    “Freeze your bananas.”

    Haha that made me smile. I actually love the contrast of that statement with all the beautiful prose concerning the gift of motherhood. Brilliant, funny, and smart. Just like you.

    And, I must say, reading about how much you love this season of your life is really encouraging, so thank you.

    • Lindsay says:

      Jessic! Thanks so much for your kind words about me and my writing. You’re always such an encouragement and have such a capacity to see the beauty in others. I’m glad that your heart was warmed by what I wrote about motherhood, too. I miss all of our talks and walks from the last time I was pregnant!

  9. judy says:

    Sitting here in your living room now while you put Sen down for a nap…right on the brink of life changing with the birth of Juniper. So grateful to be here and get to see and share in the love that fills this place. Every minute you spend, all the joy and challenges, the adventure, the laughter, the endless conversations exploring the depths of emotions, and how to live them out…you will never regret all that is being invested here. It will be treasured forever, and will only get richer when Juniper comes!

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