Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How Having a New Baby Changes How You Look At Your Other Children

I typically get very mild "baby blues" on day 4 or 5 postpartum. Those days came and went with complete emotional stability.

Today someone mentioned something that sent me into emotional tumult...

Whitley will be 9, Addie's current age, when Addie is "ready to leave our family and grow up..."

I mean... for real!

If there is one thing you shouldn't mention to a new mother, with newborn in arms, it is that they will grow up and leave! My next logical thought was that Addie was just a newborn, very much like Whitley, not that long ago... yet time passed so quickly... will her next 9 years in our family pass just as quickly as the previous 9?

I was in tears... and they didn't stop.

All my children look like giants. Their once small looking hands look disproportionally large to me. Cleaning out ears that look like they've grown over night... and faces that don't fit in my palms feel odd to me as I wash them.

Just look at Thea's GIANT hands!

Yesterday I snuggled my big "baby" boy, Allan. The only child I never got to mother in his infancy... and I mourned for that. I kissed him like I've been smooching up Whitley, we hug and held each other for a long time.

I told him, "Allan, you know what? I am sad. It makes mommy so sad that I couldn't be your mommy when you were a baby... I would have loved to hold you and rock you and see you as a baby." He smiled up and said, "It makes me sad too." We talked about how God's plans are perfect plans, but we can still feel sad about things that we missed out on.

I realize that my time with my children is of utmost value, it is not a season of futility. Nursing babies, I had forgotten, takes a LONG time... yet it seems like very holy and well spent time. Listening to stories that ramble and take ages to unfold can be tedious, but I see new value in giving my attention with more genuine listening.  Babies clarify things. They make you realize that so much of what fills our time and days are completely unimportant in the vast perspective of our lives.

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