A Day in the Life

Put Him Down.

Put him down. I’m told this on a regular basis. In fact, I’ve been told this on a regular basis since my first baby was born. Yet I didn’t. Put her down. Ever. Then with baby #2 I was cautioned again. Put her down. I couldn’t. I would miss something for sure.

I was wracked with guilt and plagued with fear about something terrible happening to me…to us, because I held my babies too much. I wasn’t sure if we would implode, explode or spontaneously combust, but I couldn’t stop. I was addicted. And they were too.

Then I noticed something strange. All of those well meaning voices cautioning, urging me to put her down, would allow a moment or two to elapse, then they would pick her up.

Baby #3. Put him down. He’s too big. He needs to crawl, walk, whatever. Put him down.

Then they would pick him up. I won’t say it was intentional, I can’t. Yet I would say its cultural.
And now I know.

I hold them. Each of them still. Maybe only for a moment here and there. If they are hurt, disappointed, sleepy, happy, nearby, accomplished. You name it, I will drop what I am doing and hold them. Now completely guilt free. They are well adjusted, socially balanced, independent, creative, confident, intelligent, silly, loving, occasionally cranky, stubborn, intense and periodically engage in meltdowns of epic and sometimes comical proportions. They are…wait for it…normal kids.
Catastrophe averted.

And I still hold them. I don’t carry them all…no way. Besides, I plank to strengthen my core, and I pray that God have mercy on my back. But I figure if we are going to do life together, the six of us, we might as well do it in close proximity to each other, while we still can.

As I type this I sit, holding my.last.baby.ever. And he is sound asleep.

I have grown completely accustomed to the pressure applied from the weight of his head against my chest. Him inhaling while I exhale and exhaling while I inhale. The soft melodic sound of breath passing through his tiny nose and the sucking sounds he still makes although he doesn’t breast feed anymore. I have grown accustomed to his scent and tiny body radiating so much heat that the both of us don’t need a blanket and our skin gets a little bit tacky from the sweat. I used to sit and try to figure out ways to get him off me and lay him down without waking him. But not anymore. I feel as though I’m on borrowed time. As long as he wants me to rock him to sleep, I will suck it up and do it…sans complaints.
I will breath deeply and memorize the sound of his breathing. I will dream of what kind of man he’ll become. I’ll think of how much more pressure the weight of his head against my chest now applies, and how it may be suppressing my lung capacity ever so slightly making my breathing a tad more shallow. I’ll think about everything. Everything, that is, except putting him down.

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A Day in the Life

Bye Bye Baby

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It’s official. And unofficial. My childbearing years are over. I may still be childbearing age, but my childbearing years are gone forever. And this time next year…I will be fresh out of babies.
I will have a three year old preschooler, a kindergartner, a second grader and a fifth grader. Yikes!
The truth is, I am very blessed. God has not held back His goodness from my life.
But tiny feet are becoming less tiny. Baby talk is becoming big boy words. And unbridled independence is rearing its ugly head.
You see, I have a conundrum of sorts. For the last decade I have been pregnant, having babies, or chasing babies. I’ve been nursing, rocking, patting, cuddling, swaddling, changing, bathing, soothing…babies for nearly a decade.
While I realize that new exciting adventures loom on the horizon, part of me…a big part of me, will miss those babies. I will miss those poopy, crying, melting down babies with snot running down their nose tantrums, fever in the middle of the night, vomit down the back of my neck, pee on me, little babies. But as I pen this cathartic post, I realize, that I will miss them because it defined who I was. I will also miss them because they were sweet, snuggly, and adorable. I will also miss having babies because I loved it. I drank it in, I soaked it up! It was hard, it was fulfilling, and it was incredible!!
It was what I was created to do. I know that I have purpose beyond that, but they are a huge part of my purpose.
But now I must raise my proverbial glass to sky, and propose a toast to babies. My sweet, fat legged babies, Momma will miss you. But you will still be enjoyed, celebrated, loved and taught. We have many more years by the grace of God, and together, your father and I will prepare you to fulfill your purpose. We will seek out adventures to share with you, distant lands to see. And I will never cease to pray for you. That always be found in the will of God. That your lives be marked with the love of God. And that it will be said of you as it was of Enoch, that you walked with God all of your days.
I look forward to meeting the children and people that you will become. And I will sit down with you and tell you all about four of the most beautiful, cuddly, amazing babies I’ve ever known.

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