Photo by Jon Sullivan (

Today is the longest day of 2012, and tonight is the shortest night. It’s one of those threshold moments when we stop and reflect. I’ve got so much to reflect on that I’m practically blind; the mirror is showing me more than I can make sense of.

For a few months now, I’ve felt like this particular Summer Solstice would be an important threshold for me. One that I would be really present for. Instead, it’s crashed over me, and now I’m dazzled by the light.

My little Leo and I celebrated Litha by eating berries and napping together through the hottest part of the day. Aingeal was working. I wanted desperately to be engaged today. I had editing and writing and cleaning to do for practical life. I had cleansing and reflecting and a nice hot fire to commemorate the oncoming dying of the light.

Instead, I crawled around on the floor in my pajamas and let a 10 month old chase me. I giggled with my little guy. I rocked him and nursed him when he came over to me and asked, in his way that has no words, to snuggle. I spent today just being Leo’s mommy.

A sad, tired part of me needed that. I’ve been spending the last 9 months so focused on being the best teacher and student that I can be; I’ve been trying to be a better partner and lamenting the coldness and strangeness that I feel around my identity as a lover. For some reason, I’ve felt that I had to be awesome at these things before I could be awesome at being a mommy.

But Leo, he just wants to know I’m there. Nursing isn’t his main source of food anymore, but it’s still an important source. Sometimes, after he’s gone on a crazy exploring burst around the house, he’ll crawl up into my lap (with sufficient help) and do a check-in nurse. He won’t relax, like he does at nap time, but he’ll melt into me with his whole being. He’s watching the room, the dog, the cats, but he’ll pat my side or grab my chin. Full physical contact is what he craves at those moments. We’re not completely separate yet. He just wants to know I’m there and wants to share the exciting magical world with me.

So, today, I guess, I was present as Leo’s mommy. I shared whole, fresh summer berries with him and lots of giggles. And we listened to the heat when it told us it was time to slow down. So slow down we did.