Friday, December 11, 2015
The Early Days
I called my sister. She just "gets me." I knew it would happen. It does every time. I was sitting on my couch holding my brand new Genevieve. My mom had the other kids, and my husband was working on a project. I started to cry.
I wasn't sad. In fact, I couldn't even describe the joy I was feeling. Yet, I was crying. None of it made much sense, yet because I had experienced it before, it did to me. In fact, I think it makes sense to a host of new mothers. It's the utter joy juxtaposed to the sheer weight of the responsibility of being a vessel for a new soul to enter the world. As I've said before, it's the rawness of vulnerability.
As I sat there with my little one curled up with her tiny little body on my shoulder and soft cheeks nuzzled in my neck, the tears came rolling. Why did God allow me to experience this again? How could I be so blessed? So underserving of such a gift, in that moment I ached for the women who struggle with having a child. My heart broke for those who had lost little ones...either on the journey through pregnancy or afterwards. It made my mind race to a place where I don't like it to go..one in which I wonder how I would ever have the strength to continue if something had happened to her or my other babies. I sat there knowing that for so long I hadn't understood the extreme depth of my mother's and father's love for me until I held my own. Did they know how much I loved and appreciated them? Those times when I was less than loving toward them were finally seen in a much different light. Would this tiny babe sleeping in my arms always know my immense love for her and her siblings? In turn, it's as close as I would ever come to knowing the unconditional love of our Father.
I thanked God over and over for the gift we prayed for all while wondering if we'd be blessed with another at some point...for the thought of this being the last made the tears roll a bit faster. In those moments, I knew my alone time with this little one would soon be broken by the laughter and screaming and even cries of her four siblings. And, while I wanted all of us back together so badly, I also knew I'd miss this time just getting to know my newest. So, I tried to soak it all in. Yet, I struggled with just being there on the couch thinking I needed to get a couple of things done. And, when I was doing those things, I was aching to just be on the couch. A whirlwind of conflicting emotions, and I didn't know how to make sense of it all. There was no sense in it. So, I called my sister.
She sympathized with me, as her little one is now six months old. She listened. She assured me that Mom and Dad knew how much I appreciated them. That my other four didn't feel an ounce less loved because of this new addition. That I wasn't crazy for wanting Genevieve to remain a tiny little thing yet still loving the milestones met as she grows. That I may never feel like "I'm done" until God actually ends this chapter of our lives. And that everything...the crying, the fears, the rawness, the guilt, the unexplainable joy, the deepest love...is all okay.
The newness won't be new forever, and she'll take a very special place in our family as our normal expands to create a new version of itself.
She will grow. And how sad would it be if she didn't? She won't fit in that little place in my shouldn't for long. Soon, I'll be packing up one size of clothing and getting out another. But, it's part of it. If she didn't grow, if she didn't become more independent, if she didn't eventually let go, this part...this total dependence on my wouldn't be so sweet (as hard as it can be at times). I just have to keep reminding myself of that.
In the meantime I'll try to see it for what it is...a tiny comparison to how we must be loved. And, when that slips my mind, I'll just call my sister.