Today is the eighth day we have been staring at the new little member of our family. Almost non-stop. Even with the mundane routine of feeding, burping, changing, and sleeping, his facial expressions never cease to amuse me. I don't get tired of counting his little fingers and toes and saying "Thank, thank you, Lord" over and over under my breath. Watching this guy transition pretty smoothly to the life outside the womb, I can hardly believe that a little more than a week ago, I carried him below my heart. That from the moment of conception, there were cells multiplying, chemical reactions taking place, life working hard to keep on living; hiding all of that from the human eye and only manifesting itself to the world outside by his mama's growing belly.
It is hard to believe that a pretty uneventful and easy pregnancy can bear such miracle. I mean, how is it that I am deserving of this? What have I ever done in life for you, Lord or for your people to be paid back with the greatest gift, that of fertility, a woman can poses? Holding a healthy baby, fourth time around, is truly humbling.
Once again, I have been given a new little soul to care for, snuggle with, teach right from wrong, lead to Christ... His siblings are and continue to be the guinea pigs of his parents' child rearing errors, unkept promises, inattentiveness, and more. But he, with almost the four year difference between him and his brother is bringing with him a fresh start. Watching him wiggle and squirm and be at my breast brings back memories of each one of my babies and how sweet they were as newborns and how sweet I was to them... I find it easy to be patient and kind to someone who is so dependent on you and doesn't yet has a voice of his own. The sore body, sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and piles of laundry that come with a new baby all redeem themselves with the gift of first coos and smiles and fat thighs and double chin.
And yet, a weekly fuss over Russian homework can result in an ugly frustrated kid vs impatient mama battle.
The truth is, I often struggle to show grace. Grace that I soooo lovingly give to my newborns as they grow is replaced by expectation of maturity, "knowing better than that", and lack of wisdom when answering their talkbacks. This little guy here is
resurrecting that word in my life...Grace.
It is known that when Margaret Thatcher's husband asked her to marry him she says yes—under one condition: She will not be someone who will stand in the background; she'll not die washing teacups. "One's life must matter, Denis," she tells him. "Beyond all the cooking and the cleaning and the children, one's life must mean something!"
I beg to disagree, Ms. Thatcher. To many of us, it is the children, in the chaos of the daily chores, that teach us the meaning of life. That make our lives meaningful. They teach us to forgive and be forgiven; they extend grace to us by quickly forgetting and embracing us in spite of our wrongdoings. They put up with our inconsistencies and impatient outbursts. They humble our selfish flesh and mold us to be a little more like Him everyday. To live for someone other than your self, isn't that the most meaningful thing you can footprint here on Earth? I believe so.
February 14, 2012, 4:37pm
9 lbs 9 oz, 21.5 in
9 hours of labor of induced labor
No painkillers :)