The other day my son asked me why I wanted babies. New readers, my kids are ages 4 and 2. It was a particularly challenging morning and for the life of me, I couldn’t think of one good reason why I had wanted babies!
Just what is this mothering thing all about?
Of course we all know that babies are beautiful. The softness of their skin, the sweetness of their toes. The soulfullness of their eyes when they open for the very first time.
But babies are hard.
Babies can suck you up and spit you out.
A seven pound being brings with him (or her) so much drama to the family.
Over the past two days, I’ve had the sheer delight of meeting and holding my four-day-old nephew. He wasn’t given a name right away, and when I asked my oldest for a recommendation, he immediately suggested that we call him Lightening Bolt.
It turns out that Lightening Bolt is an excellent choice of names, because while this tiny creature doesn’t exactly resemble a burst of electricity, he has the power of one. He is a tiny spark, a brand new soul, and a living, breathing presence that stole my heart the moment I met him. Let’s call him LB for short.
What a gift!
And yet they are responsible for what can only be described as sheer and perfect exhaustion.
As I observe the fatigue and love in my sister’s eyes, I remember. My youngest is two years old and I just barely recall the days when he was as tiny as LB. But I do remember the sleepless nights (and nights, and nights, as I occasionally still experience them) and the soreness that new mothers work through during those first days and weeks.
Mothering is navigating long days of diapering and feeding and not sleeping and bathing and soothing and rocking and whispering and not sleeping and caregiving and praying and nursing and listening to the hummingbird heartbeat of an angel come to life.
Did I mention not sleeping?
Mothering is all this and so much more.
Congratulations, my sister and brother-in-law. And welcome, Lightening Bolt.