Fall – Five Minute Friday

  You know what day it is.  That means some brave writing and awesome community over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s.  You should really stop in for a visit.

You were the size of a watermelon.  My skin stretched taught and round over my belly was the absolute proof of that.

It was near the finish.  Just before the end of blossoming when a woman gathered strength from the tips of her toes to release the life, unfolding, from her.  I lived life tilted because gravity had left my centre and pitched me forward. My movements were awkward, cumbersome and yet somehow beautiful as the tell tale waddle heralded beginnings, innocence and life.   

I was gathering scraps, like a mama bird, nesting they call it. I was trying desperately to beat biology and waves of pressure that would carve the path for your entrance.  

I could be found cleaning cupboards, scrubbing floors, folding and refolding the tiny garments that you would wear home from the hospital.  I pulled all of these pieces together to make the nest ready for your arrival.

I will never forget that day when my bustling was in overdrive and I turned too quick, forgetting for a moment that I needed to readjust for gravity’s sake.  I slipped on the bottom step coming up from the living room in to the kitchen and I felt my feet leave the earth.   My whole body fell forward and before I could even think.  Before my brain could register what was happening I thrust my arms out to brace my fall. 

The shock wave travelled up my fingers and rattled my bones all the way to the shoulders.  I used my arms to protect you.  You were safe. 

I crawled up the last few steps and rolled over on my back.  Tears were streaming down my face and I couldn’t tell you if it was relief or pain that was causing them but I lay there for a minute and waited.  I lay there and I cupped my hands around the wonder that was you.

And then I felt it.  The sharp kick in my side, and the roll of your body as you moved within me.  And I knew it then.  I knew it as sure as I knew that you were loved, that these arms that braced the fall they would go on protecting you for the rest of your life.

That they would wrap around you when nightmares chased you from your bed and hold you when it was turning into a terrible, horrible, no good ,very bad day.  These arms would be there to reach out quick and pull you back from danger.


These arms would release you into this wild and crazy world.  And last year after we moved you into residence, I wrapped my arms around you and held on tight.  It was then that I felt gravity shift for me again. I felt my centre slant and tilt as I released you.  I felt my heart fall off a cliff as I watched you get swallowed up in the happy throng University students embarking on dreams from which journeys are made.

And I realized, that I’ll always be falling when it comes to you.  That I’ll always be living life right to fringe, crazy and wild, as I watch you become your own, watch you come into your own.

I realized then that parenting is a daily falling, a constant loss of gravity – for the heart.


  1. This is SO GOOD, Tonya! I fell exactly like that in my last month with my son. Tripped going up the steps to my workplace and rolled onto my back. Relief and fear washed over me, so I know the feeling well.

  2. Beautiful…

    A friend of mine also accidentally fell down recently and she’s pregnant. We were all so scared that something bad might’ve happened (she tumbled down a few steps…)… Yet, thank God, everything seems to be fine.

    I like your writing style 🙂


  3. Oh yes! Parenting is a constant falling of the heart, a shifting of gravity. Beautiful words, friend!

  4. Tonya!! This is magnificent. Truly. I could relate completely to each word of that shift in gravity as each new phase thrusts us into a new dimension of parenting and loving and letting go. (And I just loved the reference to terrible horrible no good… we use that around here. A lot.) I ate this post right up!

    • Friend – thank you! It is always shifting with our children. There were days, are days when I’m breathless with the pace of it all. And we love that book too!

  5. I thought when my two got to a certain age or a certain point in life my heart would be done falling but it continues to drop each day.

  6. This is beautiful. Today is our last day of school and soon, I’ll have a 2nd and 4th grader and time goes by so fast, it just makes the world spin so fast. Thank you for this reminder to cherish. I needed it today.

    • Jen – it does go fast. Too fast. Somedays I look back and think I only see things in a blur – but then I get these memories like the one from today and every moment comes into sharp focus. Hug you litt’uns friend – smell they’re sweet little people smell and take a minute to hold onto that memory.

  7. Oh girl… on THIS day in particular – you so get me and you so have me sitting here in tears! LOVE that we wrote nearly the same things… that falling in love over and over and all over again…

    • Bless your mama heart Karrilee as you go through today with your beautiful daughter and the next several weeks as you watch her unfurl in this big old world. Praying for you friend.

  8. Not sure I have enough tissues for this one today. What an incredibly moving, beautiful post, friend. Says the mama of a three-next-week little girl who will be heading off to preschool in August. Where does time go? And even more, how do they turn into such wonderful, heart-melting little people? (Or grown-up people) 😉 Love this…one of my favorites of the day for sure! Blessings and happy weekend to you, sweet friend! 🙂

    • Mel – I’ve read a few posts today that have had me reaching for the kleenex… Thank you so much for your sweet words. Happy weekend to you as well friend.

  9. Oh, Tonya…this is so achingly beautiful…I hope you know you have a gift for writing…and this:”I realized then that parenting is a daily falling, a constant loss of gravity – for the heart.” I can tell you were a great mama 🙂

    • Dolly… thank you friend for you kind words and for the encouragement in my writing. There are days when I wonder friend… but then God uses people like you to remind me that all is grace.

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