On September 27, Addison had his 18 month birthday.
I can't hardly believe that it was a year and half ago
that they handed me a rather large, 9 lb. 12 oz. bundle
that I clutched to my chest and wept over.
I buried my face into that tiny space between his neck and shoulder
and inhaled that glorious smell of brand new baby.
And while it seems only moments ago that it took place,
it has been such a long year and a half.
I call the first year after you have a baby, "baby lockdown".
You are at the beck and call of your little one,
the feedings, the changings, the sleep deprived nights and the schedules.
You become a one woman show....
a buffet, a caregiver and a baby entainer all wrapped into one...
it's a little like a three ring circus
as you try to juggle the naps, the awake time, and the gas....
let's not forget the gas. Why don't they just burp already?
It seems like a never ending cycle of tiredness and confusion
as you ask yourself endless questions you can not answer like...
Will they sleep through the night?
Are they ready for yogurt?
Was it rocking them to sleep that helped them have a good nap or
the fact that you added rice cereal to their diet?
Is it normal for them to cry 4 out of the 5 hours they are awake
or should you be heading to the pediatrician right now?
It is one giant guessing game that you never quite learn the rules to....
even if you have read all the books and magazine articles.
And now it seems I have turned around twice and
he is playing with Thomas the Train and waxing eloquent about
"dis" and "dat" and "duck" and "moon".
Okay, not eloquent, but he is communicating with me that
whatever chocolate I have, he wants it.
It is an amazing amount of growth for a person
to accomplish in a year and a half.
And then I think about my own journey through post partum and
weaning and trying to re-claim my stomach muscles,
and I think we have both grown, Addison and I.
As I was driving Jack to school this morning,
I began thinking of those dark days right after Addie was born,
when I didn't know how I could make it until lunch,
let alone 18 months. I felt wrapped in loneliness.
Then I thought about how I felt right there in the car,
and that even though I was tired (who isn't, by the way?)
and I still have the dark under eye circles
(I fear they are here for life),
I felt a bit of peace edging its way into my soul.
Like maybe I have rounded a small corner
and I am at the beginning of some new thing.
And then I had this thought, that even though I felt so alone,
even though I could not feel him, God was there.
And even though I could not hear him, he was near.
And even though it has felt like a long road, and all has not been easy,
I have been wrapped up, bundled up, lifted up into strong arms
just like my newborn Addie,
and carried through out this 18 months by God's rich grace.
His unending, boundless, amazing good grace.
So this morning, with the wisps of fog littering the sky,
a good strong cup of coffee in my hand,
and with my toddler clutching a train in each hand,
I am taking a moment to be thankful.