Monday, June 13, 2011

Just a bit.

Several of my friends have had babies this month. 

I think any mother who has had children who have all grown up into walking, talking, reading, socializing, driving (agh!) young people or adults will know what I am talking about.

The bittersweet and precious moment when I pick up a new baby, tiny and absolutely precious- there is just a bit of womb ache. 

It comes as I remember my own children, extremely small and helpless, especially in light of how very far they've come since the fleeting days when they were new.

It's knowing I can never have that back.

It comes in light of how much they've changed, and how much more complex mothering becomes as I raise a house-full of unique people, as we spend incalculable amounts of time, energy, focus and prayer growing up together.

Every time I had a new baby after Grace, I savored the simplicity.  Is a new baby exhausting, sometimes confusing?  Sure- but oh, oh, the simplicity.  Just love and time, that's what they need.  Everything else gets figured out in the end. 

Swiftly they grow, and the things that were so overwhelming as a new mother, are smoothed out and made clear with the hindsight- and you just ache to know what you know, to go back, and to listen to all the women who told you to relax, to just roll with it, and to just rock that baby and know everything else will be fine.  I thought I was listening to those women, but looking back, I didn't listen quite enough. 

I'm always trying to savor my children, whatever stage we are in, but I know, no matter what, I'll look back and know I didn't relax and savor enough.  That is the way of it.  I take peace in knowing I'm not meant to know now what I will know in 10 years- that's not how this works.  Also, this is what grandparents are for.

So, there's just a bit of ache for the time I can't have back, but it's incredibly sweet, too, as I fondly remember my girls and Hudson, so small, new.  And I am filled with hope and heart-pride at how wonderful it is to watch these people grow up.  It's an incredible privilege.

So I don't want to start time over and go back, ache or not, because it's so exciting to keep moving forward.  I'm grateful for sweet memories and priceless pictures of my children to remember what was, and I'm grateful to have enjoyed life when they were small, foggy as those days were, with four babies in as many years.

And though I've loved every stage, I can't help but absolutely love the days we have now.  We can go all day and no one needs to stop for a nap. We're all learning and reading and discussing, enjoying the diversity that comes with a house of individuals. Diapers are a distant memory and I have been enjoying uninterrupted sleep for the last 3 1/2 years. 

Today I will take my own advice and try even harder to just live in it, in the right now.

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