"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Oh, baby

Being the oldest girl and second child of nine children made me, what I considered to be, the luckiest girl in the world. Though I know my mother always wanted a large family, I think at times she felt as thought the world cast it's judging eyes upon us. I could never understand this as I was the happy recipient of a new baby every couple of years and who could ask for a better present. And I think that's how I became hooked. In the event that I was left to babysit, I would anxiously await the moment when a "blow-out" would occur and I could undress that baby down to nothing and give it a bath. My mother showed me how to trace the bridge of a babies nose to induce the eyes to feeling heavy and usher it off to sleep. She taught me that holding a baby against my chest so it could hear the even beats of my heart would make it feel comfortable and safe. I was a real professional by the time I was twelve and as baby after baby came through our family, I took possession of each one. Even long after the babies of our family became too big to carry around, my favorite cousin and I would scramble around reunion gatherings robbing mothers of their infants just for an opportunity to hold.

(Me with some of my babies -- gotta love the hair and teeth!)

I couldn't wait for the time when I would have my own. I looked forward to it and over the years, I have had six beautiful babies come into my life. I've looked at each with wonder and awe and every single time felt the feeling that I could do this forever. This time is no different. I could do this forever. My heart nearly bursts every time I pick this baby up.

Eliza just lights up our lives around here. She surprised us when we had begun to think that maybe there were no more babies meant for us but now we just couldn't imagine our lives without her. Getting her here had it's complications and in so doing, has given us a realistic wake-up call that we really can't do this forever. It's a hard feeling for me. It makes me want to take time and make it stop right in my hand. It makes me wish that my day had just a few more hours in it to enjoy. And so, I soak up every minute like a sponge. I continually put off moving her from the bassinet by my bed to the crib in the far off girl's room -- though the girls are begging for it. I don't mind that she has no set bedtime schedule as I get to sit and hold a little bit longer after the house settles into the quiet of nighttime. And I love afternoon naps, reading stories until she and Grant fall asleep, each warmly tucked into the crook of my arms. It's so hard to remove myself to complete chores that leave me free of needed attention because I just want to lay there and absorb it all in for one moment more. And so I catch myself, breathing in today just a little more deeply.

Thoughts about my other babies as I watch them grow:

I love lazy afternoons warming our feet on the heater. Grant has been my cuddliest baby. Our morning always starts with a few minutes in my bed with his favorite blanket.

This pair of frien-emies always have a song and dance routine to share. Since the minute Annie scooped Janie off the bed at one-day-old and dropped her on the floor, these two have been inseparable. I love this picture because they took it themselves with the self timer and it was a hoot to listen to from the kitchen.

It's had moments of frustration that he just could not stay still for one second, but Christian has always been a man in motion from day one. I've never seen a baby not be able to settle even when asleep. I just love that about him.

I love every stage of life with this one. She's experiencing the joys and hardships of youth and even though those were some of the toughest times of my life, I'm so glad I have memories of those struggles to share with Celia so that she can feel validated and understood.

And one more just because.

These people make my world go 'round.


  1. Thank you for this post. I never was someone who loved babies, and was worried that I'd have a hard time with my own. Thankfully, that wasn't the case, but then I thought they'd changed my feelings toward babies in general....and not so much.

    I love to hear how much you love your babies. They're just beautiful. (Especially the one with the missing teeth. Priceless!)

  2. I do so understand. I thought my mom having Jeremy when I was 16 was the coolest thing that ever could have happened to a girl. I always worried that when I was done I would long for another baby for the rest of my life. Of course we all know how that turned out... ;)

  3. I've never had the interest in babies but see, I AM the baby so we're talking different dynamics here. Your picture of Eliza (toward the top) is just perfect. I LOVE how tack her eyes are and the color...breaktaking.

  4. Of course by "breaktaking", I mean "breathtaking".