The Odd Music of Motherhood

My life is set to a particular soundtrack. Even now, the familiar whoosh of a tired washing machine sets the rhythm for late night writing.

Each day is filled with its own songs of motherhood.

The excited ramblings of a little boy as he dresses for another blissful kindergarten morning.

A cat meows on the other side of a glass door, waiting impatiently for breakfast and belly rubs.

A toddler is bathed in early morning light in her own tiny room, and she sings, while no one listens.

But I do.

I stand in the hallway bare-faced, still half asleep, and hear the rhapsody of early morning.

Snoring Hero still asleep in my bed.

Singing baby.

Chattering six year old.

Drawers open and close in the never-ending sock search.

This early rhythm is punctuated by a squeaky lock, turned by the eldest beauty.

She opens the glass door and lets the meowing cat join in the chorus.


And, underneath all of the sounds of the beginning of a day, I hear something else. It is all at once a complete symphony and a simple pulsing beat. It is a cadence that spells out the beauty in all of the noise, all of the songs, all of the quiet spaces. It is a tempo that has played in my soul since the day that my first child counted down the orchestra and pierced the silence of my peaceful world with her opening shrieking cry.

When I stop in the hallway, simple mama, in no way ready to face the world out there, with my wild hair and my mismatched pjs, God whispers into the rhythm of motherhood. And, His voice comes clear through the beeping of a thermometer in the groggy middle of the night. I see His face in a smiling two year old’s announcement when I reach into her crib: Mama! It’s you! I feel His strong hand holding me up when the noise gets a little too overwhelming. When the music hits some sour notes. And when the evening lullaby sounds like a crying child hanging his head over a toilet.

Yet, through all of the changes in tempo, through all of the unexpected breaks in the music that I know by heart, He keeps me listening. He helps me hear. And, He shows me how to find the beautiful tune in the hallway on a Monday morning.

As for the meaning that is hidden in the thud-thud-thud of a mama’s heartbeat, all I know is that in this rhythm I see glimpses of my God and His love. And, I am so grateful for the strange and glorious soundtrack that has followed me for the past ten years. God writes odd and beautiful music in this mother’s heart. I don’t want to miss a single note.

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