Monday, March 10, 2014

Dear expectant mama— on being immature

Have you ever seen a grownup stop the car and run out into a field just because it looked fun? Or run with her shopping cart and ride on it across the parking lot? Or climb up a tree and throw things at people below? 
That would be too weird. 

Unless she had kids with her.

As your belly stretches, I am sure you have felt the weight of this new vocation pressing heavy on you. Yes, it is challenging to be a mother. Yes, you do have to start thinking about safety hazards and carseat laws. You have to grow up in so many ways. But … has anybody told you this yet? There is a wonderful, child-like joy mixed in with this calling.

Sure, you will make sure you are guarding the edges of the dock when you run down it with her. And you might even make sure the snow is not yellow before you eat it together. But think of it— those wonderful things that you loved to do when you had a little body, and no worries? You get to do many of those again! Motherhood will actually provide a healthy outlet for your remaining immaturity! That girl, the one who likes to jump on trampolines, listen to loud music, and swing on swings- she doesn’t have to die!

I can still do this.
And you won’t understand this, yet, but I have to tell you: In some ways, these things are better the second time. Sure, this time I know it’s truly dangerous to get caught in a riptide, and that’s terrifying… but to watch a child discover the water for the first time? It’s amazing. Seeing him curl his toes in the sand, and discover that it doesn’t taste good; watching his delight as he throws rocks in the water, and seeing him laugh when they make a “plunk” EVERY time!

You will lay a sheet out on the grass in the summer, and you will kick off your shoes just to sit with your baby. And you’ll remember that other grass in that other lawn when you were little, and you might want to turn on the sprinkler. And you can! It won’t be weird at all! Your child will probably think you are the smartest person on the planet!

There are moments- sweet, fleeting moments- when the weight of your years lifts away, and you will feel what it is like to be a child again! You’ll get swept up in a glorious fall evening, or knocked over by waves upon waves of grace, and you’ll remember how to give a full-hearted from-the- belly laugh. And your little one will laugh with you, and it will be the most beautiful echo you’ve ever heard.

It’s not all fun and games, but SOME of it is! When the weight of the one you are carrying bears down heavy, allow yourself to look backward, into your favorite moments from your own childhood, and then imagine your child, your favorite little person in the world, there with you, sharing your marshmallows.

Hang in there, mama, when your baby is heavy.
Lighter moments are coming.

— Emily

this applies to Grandmas, too! 

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