Like most mornings, today’s began bright and early with Elyse’s five o’clock feeding. As usual, she started stirring in the crib by our bed at almost five on the dot and was quite content to nurse for about 20 minutes before we both drifted back to sleep for a few hours. Thankfully, like Taylor and I, my children are sleepers, so most days I don’t even have to get out of bed until at least eight o’clock — sometimes even later. But since today is Thursday (i.e. music class day), I rose before both Clara and Elyse to start the process of getting us ready to leave the house in time for our 11 o’clock class. It takes me about two and a half hours to get all three of us up, dressed, fed and out the door. I gave myself a couple of extra minutes of wake-up time after Taylor’s alarm startled me out of a sound sleep before getting up to face the day.
Like most moms, I am a multi-tasker. So while I brushed my teeth, I also busied myself in Elyse’s room with the chore of choosing the girls’ outfits. After selecting onesies, socks, pants and coordinating shirts, I realized that I forgot to get a bib for Clara. I turned and was gearing up to high-tail back across the room to the dresser where the bibs are kept when out of the corner of my eye, I saw three doe prancing across my front lawn. Surprised by the sight of three doe in the yard at eight in the morning, I dropped the bib, sprinted to the master bathroom where Taylor was also brushing his teeth and motioned for him to look out of our bedroom window. In awe, the two of us watched the three doe cross our quiet neighborhood street while we silently finished our tooth brushing.
Later on (it was a little after 10:30 at this point), while buckling myself into the driver’s seat of my SUV, I spied the three doe again. As they disappeared into the wooded lot adjacent to our property, I began to wonder why they were still wandering around the neighborhood. Intrigued by my double doe-sighting, I consulted the internet for information on doe symbolism when I finally got a few minutes to myself earlier this afternoon. Interestingly enough, I learned that according to Native American lore, the deer is symbolic of gentleness, kindness, compassion, innocence, motherhood, grace, femininity, swiftness, peace, subtlety, adventure, psychic power, awareness, renewal, acceptance, and connection to spirit. Additionally, “when deer appear they are symbols of an opportunity to express gentle love that will open new doors to adventure for you. [Thus, you should] use methods other than force to achieve goals, be led to adventure or spiritual knowledge. [Also, in the spirit of the deer, you should] accept others for who they are and don’t try to change them” (www.alltotems.com).
After discovering that deer represent various characteristics of kindness, I couldn’t help but think about the current state of my marriage. This month, well June, marks 13 years since I met Taylor through mutual friends at Bryant College (now University). I remember that we were paired up during a heated match of pitch and kept hitting our four bids. We were unstoppable that night. But, I’ll reflect on that story at another time. June 18th, will also be our seven-year wedding anniversary. I can’t believe that it’s been seven years since we exchanged vows in front of our family and friends at Beavertail in Jamestown, one of the most beautiful settings to start anew and commit your life to another. Again, a story for later date.
Seeing the doe this morning and then finding out the potential meaning behind these sightings really hit home for me. Unfortunately, as of late, I haven’t had much time to devote to my relationship with Taylor and feel that I’ve been taking it, as well as him, for granted. Because I’ve been so busy focusing on Clara and Elyse, I know that I haven’t been putting forth much effort to connect with my husband. Additionally, I feel as if most of my communication with him has been laden with criticism and harsh undertones. I have no one to blame but myself. I can sit here and try to use broken sleep, lack of time alone, and my new job as a full-time nursing mom as scapegoats, but the simple fact is that, at least for me, our marriage has taken a backseat to my daughters.
Last Wednesday during our weekly get-together, my sister, the kids and I watched her wedding video. After it was over, Brody wanted to see ours. So, I dug it out of the cabinet above the desk and popped it into the XBox. Let me tell you, videography has certainly come a long way in the last seven years! The introduction to my sister’s wedding video had a vintage look to it; my wedding video is actually vintage. :0) After a brief photo slide show highlighting our respective childhoods and the history of our relationship, our wedding day began. Looking at the seven-years-younger faces of our twenty-something-year-old selves with a great, big, exciting future in front of us made me realize how seven-years can really age a face, as well as a relationship. In the last seven years, a lot has changed. We’ve definitely had our good times, as well as our bad. We’ve weathered sickness and health and we’ve stayed together through times of prosperity and scarcity. I know that in order to navigate through the next seven years, I need to head the warning from the doe. On the verge of my wedding anniversary, during this time of renewal, I need to remember all of the things that brought Taylor and I together — compassion, adventure, and acceptance — one trait for each of the doe that found its way into our world this morning.