Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

For My Jeremiah

Me and my two youngest babies.
Last night on my Facebook status I asked the question, "fold laundry or cuddle a sleeping baby?" 

The answers that ensued were,"cuddle that baby!"

I agreed; it was a no-brainer.

It got me thinking about the moments that pass in the blink of an eye.  How my oldest daughter is about to turn eight and I remember when she was just a month old; soothed by my nursing her, rocking her, holding her close as she slept against my neck.  Those moments seem like a hundred years ago and in the time that has passed since then, I have lost two babies, had four others, grown older, rounder, wiser.

My baby is about to turn one month old and I don't know where the time went.  He already looks so different than when he was born; his changes marking the reality that time moves at an inexplicably fast pace whether we like it or not.  These past four weeks have been a blur of cuddling, nursing, diaper changing, spit ups, soothing, rocking, sighing.  And not much else.   

Of course cuddling a sleeping baby should be the answer.  Every. Single. Time.

Because babies really don't keep.  They grow up.  They move on.  They have babies of their own.

And we mamas are left with empty arms.  Naked necks where tiny faces once lay.  Places of our being that can only be filled once more with the joy of grandbabies if the Lord so chooses; babies that are ours... but not really ours.

My mom reminded me of the following poem, which she came across when she had her fifth child - my sister, Kate.  And it most certainly fits this time in my journey.  There is nothing more important than taking those moments with our little ones and cherishing them for a time.  Nothing.  (Not even a clean house.) 

Song for a Fifth Child
    by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton
Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

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