Saturday, February 23, 2008

Adding a 7th

7th Thing Babies Are Good For:

Making you slow down.

From the beginning, raising Luca has been a test of patience...it has involved a lot of long days and night half-asleep on the couch or recliner feeding her. It has involved late night tests of will as we battle over whether she will last longer in her fight against sleep or I will last longer in my fight to get her to bed. It has involved TONS of rocking and walking and bouncing on a yoga ball, all to calm her or soothe her or entertain her. And while these moments can be stressful, and there are some days (which ocassionally become weeks or longer) where I feel like it will never end and I will never have time to myself again, there are those moments that make it worth every second. They are the moments when your sweet baby crawls over to you, red-eyed and lonely, and pulls at your arm. When you lift her to you, and hold her against your tummy, and she presses her warm cheek to your chest. When the last moments before she falls asleep are filled with soft grunts, warm hair, sweet baby smell, and the feel of her body melting in to yours. When she reaches up, half-sleeping, to touch your face with the softest and most perfect hand, and you cannot believe you MADE such a flawless thing. When she drifts into baby dreamland, which you are convinced is filled with puppies, unicorns, rainbows, and boobies full of milk, and you feel her breathing slow, and yours slows too.

There are a lot of lost and stolen moments involved in motherhood. There are many days when you question how you'll make it past age 3 alive - - - nevermind surviving the tween and teen years. There are days of sheer exhaustion. But there are also moments, such as the moment your child falls asleep, warm and safe and content, in your arms, when you're SO damn thankful to have this little person here to slow you down. Since Luca was born, I've had many days where I've made myself be still and quiet and calm and, instead of rushing her to her crib when she gets sleepy, I've languished with her in my arms, breathing in her sweet baby smell. And I would not trade those moments for a damn thing.

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