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Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

Photo by Toshimasa Ishibashi

By Tina Teng-Henson

I’m living my life
as it is
in this moment
as best I can
So help me God

but I can’t help
constantly imagining
(parallel processing?)
Other lives
Slightly better lives
Alternate future lives
‘If we had only’ lives
That could’ve been
That could be
Instead

I often imagine
What it would have been like
What it would be like
If we had bought a house earlier
If we had stayed in contract
If they hadn’t issued me that letter

What will it be like
To have a job again
To own a home
As we raise three littles?

My brain is always somewhere else
Imagining something better
Implicitly discontent with the present
Without meaning judgment
Not intending to compare
Not unhappy
Not discontent
It’s just the way my mind works

Instead of living my actual life
In the moment
The good and the bad

Here I sit.
In a darkened room
Letting the baby
Rest on my chest

It’s the middle of the night
Her breath
Wafts upward
The fragrance of
Mother’s milk

Tomorrow the electrician
Will come and fix
The breakers
Of this rental

Tomorrow I’ll talk to
A listening friend
Our realtor
Another parent
of three

Tomorrow I’ll listen again
For what my assignment is
For that day
And I will follow

Tomorrow I’ll hug the children
Kiss the husband
Unload the dishwasher
Prepare lunch

We’ll both take a nap
Eat well
Keep each other company

Smile
Laugh
And see friends

Have mercy on me
Dear Lord
As I imagine something
Requiring
Courage
Wisdom
Discipline

Help me God
As I live
This actual life
You have given to me
And as we unfold together
what you have
Written down
Folded up

Walk with me
Step by step
Patiently
Making the fantastical
Real, embodied…
The imaginary
Feasible, edible.

They’re not flights of fancy
This is not unfaithful folly

You who created me
And called me good
And crafted me for a purpose
You give me visions and imagination
To get me from here to there

Thank you
I trust you
And
I am not afraid

Here I am
I am yours

Tina Teng-Henson has been blessed to learn + grow alongside so many different people, in so many places: Long Island, NY — Harvard College + the South End of Boston — Nairobi, Kenya and Lanzhou, China. Tina, her husband, and their three children live in northern California.

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Photo by Kevin Dooley

By Joy Wong

I’m currently a full-time stay-at-home mom with a 4-year-old, 2-year-old, and another baby on the way. Most days I’m barely getting through the day, just trying to keep everyone fed, clothed, and my toddler diapered. If I can keep everyone bathed, that’s a bonus.

Because of this, my vocational goals in recent years involving ordination and getting certified as a spiritual director have been shelved — which I’m ok with. (more…)

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Photo by Maria Liu Wong

Photo by Maria Liu Wong

By Maria Liu Wong

Last Sunday, on the way to church, my 4-year-old daughter, Immy, and I stopped by a bodega by the subway station. An older African-American woman standing by the door saw Immy and said, “She’s gorgeous! You’d better lock her up when she turns 16!” I smiled in response and said she’d be taking self-defense lessons, starting early. We bantered on a bit more, and then I headed downstairs to the subway with Immy.

As we rode the subway to church, I thought about the conversation and the woman’s advice to protect and hide my daughter away because of what she looks like. (more…)

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Photo by Craig Howell

Photo by Craig Howell

By Tina Teng-Henson

On my run this morning, I turned into the gateway of the Catholic convent in my neighborhood. As I jogged down the leafy pathway, this thought crossed my mind: “I could always just abandon my husband and kids and become a nun…then I could really focus on serving God.” I imagined Beatrice and Peter visiting me at the convent once a year, watching them grow up from afar. Then I imagined myself crying in anguish, after each visit would end — overwhelmed with regret and remorse for having made that decision. I would miss watching them grow up far too much. (more…)

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Photo by Maria Liu Wong

Photo by Maria Liu Wong

By Maria Liu Wong

Being the parent of a middle-schooler is not an easy job. Raising a middle-schooler in New York City makes it that much more challenging.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I let Joshua, our oldest son — a slim-built, not-very-tall sixth grader — walk home for the first time by himself. (more…)

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Photo by Ally Mahbobi

Photo by Ally Mahbobi

By Wendy Choy-Chan

My elder daughter will turn seventeen in a few months. “Seventeen” sounds so much more mature, ready to conquer the world than “sixteen.” No longer my little baby. For one, she is taller than me now. She takes (borrows) clothes from my wardrobe — well, those she deems fashionable. She is also driving now (thank God we don’t have an extra car for her!), so she is ready to venture out all by herself, literally. (more…)

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Photo by Treacle Tart

Photo by Treacle Tart

(Note: Below is an abridged version of the original poem.)

By Tina Teng-Henson

I bet you missed them.
Missed the constant camaraderie,
having two people right next to you,
all the time,
who always understood
what you were thinking,
always agreed about
what to do. (more…)

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