"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Friday, May 07, 2010

Babies and New Chapters

Our next door neighbors have a six month old little girl. She's perfect and beautiful... big, expressive eyes, happy smile, cheeks that defy you not to squeeze them. She is sweet, easy-going, and curious.

I must admit, I'm actually not the kind of girl that gets all crazy about babies. I'm crazy about my babies, but I was never one of the ones who cooed and gushed and made a spectacle of myself just because I was in the presence of a cute baby. This baby though, she turns me into that kind of girl. She does. She makes me gush.

Which is why I was so surprised by the realization I made when I was lucky enough to babysit her a few days ago. Our friends had gone out to a show, so we had her all evening. We fed her dinner, gave her a bottle, and rocked her to sleep. I was looking at her face, sweet and peaceful as she lay, passed out, in my lap. I always marveled at my babies when they were sleeping. Their perfect little eyelashes, their tiny noses, the way their lips stayed permanently pursed. Yes, it was undeniably wonderful to even hold such a young baby again, as my baby is now a busy and oh-so-active active 30 pound toddler, and it made me fondly nostalgic for all my kids' baby days. She was just a warm and delicious bundle of squish. And yet... instead of an inner voice screaming, “I want another baby!!,” a voice I feared would never be completely silenced, I was met with another voice. Quieter and calmer perhaps, but every bit as absolute, it told me “I’m done.” I don’t want another baby. I feel happy and blessed and complete with our family exactly as it is, and I no longer feel the acute ache of someone “missing” that I felt before we got pregnant with Tegan.
Bidding a definitive farewell to baby days is bittersweet. Those first weeks and months (and years!) go so quickly. So, so quickly! I don’t understand why everyone is in such a rush for their children to grow up, celebrating everything from sleeping through the night to weaning to potty training, as if they’re one step closer to being done parenting. If there is one recurring adage I try to continually live by, particularly when it comes to parenting, it is to embrace the moment… to embrace all the moments. I loved having babies, and I have loved every age since. I love that our family is growing and changing as the kids get older, and I love knowing that it’s bringing new adventures, new discoveries, and yes, even new challenges.
I have been thinking a lot about the future lately, partly to dream and to plan, and partly to satisfy the ever-growing “itch” I’ve been feeling. When the boys were around Tegan’s age, I felt that same itch: it was time to do, to move, to grow. It was time for more. And all three times the answer was another baby.
This time there will be no more babies, and while I was fully prepared for the reality of that truth to make me sad, it does not.
Instead, I feel excited to welcome a new chapter of our lives. I’m excited to be nearing the completion of my Nutritional Consultant certification, and I’m excited to begin the Master Herbalist, the next piece of my Bachelor’s degree. I’m excited about researching a future business, and I’m excited about doing it together, as a family.
I’m EXCITED!
I’m excited, and I’m peaceful with what God has currently placed into my heart and into my life. It’s all unfolding, and it’s good. I’ve been reminded lately, in fact as recently as yesterday, that I won’t always receive support from everyone outside my own little 6 member family. In fact, it’s been my general experience that most people – including those who you’d expect to be the most encouraging – go out of their way to deliver nothing more than negative and nay-saying comments when given the opportunity. I will not let others’ negativity affect my life, my joy, or my drive. All I can do is feel sorry for them, and the way they’re limiting their own potential happiness. What a sad way to go through life!
I choose Joy.
i am exactly where i need to be
i need to be exactly where i am
i am a blessing manifest
i can undress the moment
naked time unwinds beneath my mind
and from within i find the kind of beauty
only i can find ~Amy Steinberg








1 comment:

Erika Seirup said...

Absolutely fantastic to read.

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