Enough Time To Learn A Lot, And At The Same Time, Realize How Little I Know

It is late. I'm not sure of the time because I just rolled out of bed, with blurry eyes and a loose, lopsided ponytail. I navigate to his crib by memory, 16 months of this new life I'm leading and and I don't have to even think about what to do anymore. I quiet his cries by merely my presence entering the room, and the whimpers disappear completely as I pick him up. His body is long now. No longer can I curl him sideways in the crook of my arm, but his legs hang low, past my waist and my hips, his toes brush my thighs. His head meets mine, his forehead right at my eyes.

It dawns on me that I only have a few months left with this little boy as my one and only.

As my first and my last.

As my beginning and my end.

He is still a baby, how can I have another? But yet he is not still a baby, he is a boy. Sprung up in what feels like overnight, he is so very different from the newborn I brought home from the hospital. As I feel his weight in my arms, his body moulded around my belly - his soon to be sister - I think about this time we've spent together.

He is the one that taught me what it really means to be a mother.

To care about someone more than myself.

To push through the all too frequent tears and the fears, take a deep breath, and do the next thing.

To remember on the days when it feels like I'm not doing anything right, that God's grace is sufficient.

To ask for help when I don't know the answer, and to make the best decision I can when I have too many answers than I'd like.

To find that truths I'd learned through song or story as a child would come full circle someday - and find that the roots that were planted deep in me, can seed and be planted into another life.

To feel crushed by the weight of responsibility, yet lifted by the promise of a Sovereign God.

To know the little things it's easy to get caught up in - like breastfeeding and and formula feeding, cloth or disposable, organic or processed - don't matter, it's the way I  invest in his heart that will be printed on his soul forever.

To understand that being an intentional parent is hard and exhausting, but it's worth it for the most important thing I've even been given to take care of.

To be reminded daily to have an open hand in the little things when raising him, yet to be firm and steadfast in the big things that matter - the things of the heart.

To realize that motherhood is not all weariness, spit up and poopy diapers like it can sometimes seem, but really it is joy and wonder and adventure all combined to make pure magic.

My little boy, my soon to be "oldest," taught me that being a mother is far better than I anything ever could have imagined. That motherhood is both the hardest and easiest thing I'll ever do. That it is more fulfilling than anything else I have ever done or ever could do in this life. And while it is so hard for me to watch him grow up, it is still far more wonderful to get have this front-row seat in his life.

Sixteen months is both a long and short time. I've learned a lot, yet at the same time, have come to realize how little I know.

So I kiss his forehead, and lay him back down in his crib. I finish my song and whisper, "I love you." I watch him roll to his side, close his eyes and put his thumb in his mouth.

I crawl back in bed looking forward to the future. I know that even though my son's time as my one and only is drawing to a close, there is much left for him to teach me.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I remember feeling so nostalgic about my 1st when I was expecting #2. Of course it's cliched truth to say that I can't imagine what life would be like without each addition we've been blessed with, but I think it's also important to cherish each one as our "only" or youngest.

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  2. Thank you! I know it'll be great to have number 2 and I'll learn even more from her, but yes, it's helping me get excited for her more by just remembering to cherish this time with one!

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