Through the Wild Thicket.

By: Jen Shoop
"Fly, be free! I want to say. I want to say, Stay with me forever! Come to think of it, these are the two things I want to say to everyone I love most." -- Catherine Newman

*Hill at two years of age, above.

I have been moping around the house because my baby is four today, and we are through the wild thicket of toddlerhood, and I can’t bring myself to say goodbye to all that, even though I must, and even though he has reached peak excitement over his birthday and I am happy for him in the way all mothers are: my smile a searching mirror of his. Over the weekend, he splashed in the icy cold pool for hours, pruned and purple-lipped, and for awhile, permitted me to wrap him into a tortilla of towel and hold him on my lap in the sun. I didn’t want to let him out of my arms. I wanted to press his cold feet to my hands forever. It struck me, as he eventually elbowed his way out of our cocoon, that I was a kind of living art installation: a shrine to mothers wanting to hold on to their babies just a little longer.

I am thinking now, as I thaw myself out of this funk, of a quote from Catherine Newman’s We All Want Impossible Things:

Fly, be free! I want to say. I want to say, Stay with me forever! Come to think of it, these are the two things I want to say to everyone I love most.”

Therein, the entirety of motherhood: the impossible cross-currents of a love so wildly deep that we want everything for our children. We want them as they are now, folding up into our arms; we want them as we hope they will be in the future, enjoying every opportunity and freedom and happiness.

To Hill, on his fourth: fly, be free!


+Whenever I feel weepy about these transitions, I remind myself that we contain all of the ages of our babies.

+I also remember what I wise friend once said to me, when I was weepy about my son going off to school: “You should let yourself feel all the feels. It just shows how much you love your role as a mom.”

+Demeter and Persephone.

+To a daughter leaving.

Shopping Break.

+OMG. Absolutely dead over this dress. I think this has shot up to my new favorite summer wedding guest option, and it’s under $250.

+A really chic everyday slide.

+Loving this hot pink linen dress from Gap!

+Ooo yes! This striped cardigan is GOOD.

+A lot of you have been purchasing my much-raved-about favorite waffle bed blanket! Just a reminder you can get 20% off with code MAGPIE20.

+Two cute patriotic sweatshirts for little boys: this colorblocked J. Crew and this American flag!

+Cool shades.

+Denim sandals are having a moment. St. Laurent has a pair out, but I love this $60 pair.

+These candles are super luxe and so gorgeously (complex-ly) scented. My husband usually gives me one each Christmas in my stocking and I treasure them!

+Best plates/bowls for kids.

+Adore this fun fruit print dress. Reminds me of something Dolce and Gabbana might do.

+Speaking of fruit print, love the patterns on these dresses for girls.

+Just a reminder that these terry polos for boys are a fraction of the price of the Minnow ones and come in good colors!

+And for men: Mr. Magpie owns one of these ones from the brand Criquet!

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2 thoughts on “Through the Wild Thicket.

  1. Oh, this got me! My “baby” is still 3 but I am still trying to treasure every time she lets me hold her. And every time my 5yo holds my hand, I try to notice how small her hand still is. Most of the time, I marvel at how big she is! Wasn’t I just pregnant with her?? How is this baby already doing math problems?

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