I was never a baby person. You know the type. They can smell a baby from the other room. They make a beeline to any new mom or stroller that they see, begging to hold the little bundle of joy and generally making a fuss. You know who you are (Amie, Jodi and Donna!) and I know you can’t help it. There is that strong maternal instinct that just goes out of control whenever an infant is near.
I was never like that. In fact, as a young person I didn’t babysit or hardly look at babies. I would make the required complimentary remarks about people’s progeny but you wouldn’t ask me to teach or help in the nursery! I began to wonder if I had that maternal instinct at all.
A single event changed all that over 27 years ago. I had a baby. All of a sudden, my world was turned upside down. I was not prepared in any way. I hadn’t even changed a diaper and had to have the nurse teach me before I left the hospital. I was overwhelmed, at first. The lack of sleep, lack of training and constant neediness of my little girl left me exhausted and wondering, “what have I gotten myself into?”. But gradually, she slept through the night, sat up, crawled, walked, and continued to grow into a little person and I realized something one day. I was smitten.
I never imagined the ways motherhood would change my life – for the better. I wouldn’t trade being a mom for anything. But there were times, when I was younger that I would ponder, “Is this it? Is this the only contribution I will make with my life? Feeding kids, doing laundry, juggling work and school and sports and…” Now, I realize there is no better contribution I can make to the world than having the opportunity to pour myself into the lives that have been entrusted in my care.
As the years wore on, I prayed for God to remove the desire from heart for more children, but it remained and, if anything, grew stronger as my friends had more babies and I was surrounded by a boatload of nieces and nephews (who I adore). Thirteen years passed before we were blessed with another baby girl. Two years after that, our son was born. What joy!
As a mother of three, I have applauded loudly at their accomplishments, fallen to my knees through their struggles and been amazed every step of the way, to seem them grow, rise to the challenges and blossom into their own unique persons. Our oldest is now an adult and next year will marry and start a family of her own, but she will always be my baby girl, the one that broke me in!
As I continue daily, to pray for my children, for their safety, their future, their many needs, I am confident that whether or not I do everything ‘right’ (and let me tell you, I certainly don’t), that their Heavenly Father is watching out for them and cares for them more than I could possibly imagine. What a comfort.
So, I’m a convert. I am now a baby person. I marvel every time I see a sweet little cherub with all their incredible potential, and thank God for the three he sent to our family.
God’s love, though, is ever and always, eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children as they follow his Covenant ways and remember to do whatever he said.
Psalm 103:17,18 (MSG)