Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rocking By The Window

"A first child is your own best foot forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out. 
You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world. 

But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after--oh, that's love by a different name. 

She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she's gone to sleep. If you put her down in the crib, she might wake up changed and fly away. 

So instead you rock by the window, drinking the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams. 

You heart bays to the double crescent moons of closed lashes on her cheeks. She's the one you can't put down."
.Barbara Kingsolver.

My friend Erin sent me that quote and I when I read it I immediately need to reach for some tissues.  How can you not?  It's so beautifully expressed-exactly how I feel about Janey.  

The last two weeks have been fussy-fussy by Janey's standards which are pretty good standards.  Lots of waking-quick naps-lots of nursing, lots of carrying around-me using one hand to make a sandwich, do the laundry, get dressed.  I look at what I need to get done and can only look-which gets frustrating sometimes, but not many times.  Years and years ago, it would have frustrated me so much more-now I think, "Oh what the heck, I'll get to it another day."  I make schedules and lists, thinking it will help me "catch up" only to rip them down and pitch them days later.  It doesn't matter.  Really, it doesn't.  Babies are so important-sure, there are other important things in life, but not much else.  Not much else at all.  

It's such a little minuscule bit of our lives that we have these little tiny ones-and such crucial years for them.  Some say the most important years and I believe them.    What can compare?  If I live to 100-and I'm planning on it-that's six years for my each of my babies that I've spent nursing and shushing and bouncing-even if you doubled that to include the next intense year of baby care, it's about 10% of my life.  10% for my babies-to hold, to cuddle, to soothe, to love tenderly.  I wouldn't trade that tiny bit-this precious gift of minutes and hours and days and months-for anything.

I learned quickly with my first, being amazed at how quickly a year, then another, and another-all eighteen of them-can come and go, that I want to do anything but rush this stage-or push it to the sidelines, or be frustrated by my inability to meet the demands of the outside world that is calling me away to do trivial things, or be distracted and occupied by life in general.  I do not want to forget to cherish these sweet baby moments-while time flies.

28 comments :

  1. exactly! In the grand scheme of things, and times in our life~holding, nursing, loving and nurturing our little babies is such a fleeting time. And it can't be rewound,...or I would have done it over and over!!! They all grow up too quickly, and even though I wanted to snatch at those moments and make them last forever, they didn't....my baby is now 10(last week actually) and I can't seem to grasp that she is not still my teeny tiny newborn baby girl!! enjoy that little Janey and doing your one-handed chores!!!!! Blessings to you!!

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  2. Oh your timing.... *SNIFF*.... I just weaned Wyatt. Aside from the hormonal devastation and general sadness, this is the end of my childbearing. No more milk, no more babies. *SOB*

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  4. So well expressed. With the business of life- my youngest, 18 months old, it just breaks my heart when life gets busy- I just want to stare at her and do whatever she wants. Lovely post. :)

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  5. So very true.
    Mary, momma to 10, the youngest of whom is 8

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  6. Thanks so much for sharing...so sweet. It goes for those of us who have an only child...I knew by the time she came I wouldn't risk having another one and not be here for her. Lucky for me she is a girl who is nearly 13 and dearly holding on to her childhood with her dolls, My Little Ponies and make believe play. I'm go glad she is choosing to grow up slowly when her other friends are wanting make-up, boyfriends and freedom. I know those days will come oh so soon.

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  7. So true!
    I am so blessed and happy I can still / again live this truth with my grandchildren.
    Thanks for sharing, Barbara, Erin and Sarah!!
    Cheers,

    Jeanneke.


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  8. What an excellent quote, and so true! My fifth baby (and last) is 15 months old, and I am begging time to slow down. It just all goes too fast.

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  9. How sweet! This is so true with my 4th baby!

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  10. I love that you recognize it...even when you are living it. So often we only recognize it when it's all said and done. Janey is one blessed baby girl!

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  11. This is wonderful. I SO love your perspective on the baby stage, Sarah. As a first time mom of an 11.5 month old baby girl (I'm trying not to think about her turning one in just weeks!), I've been constantly inundated by society's ideals of parent-centered parenting. It makes me nuts! Like you say, babies are important, not something to be camoflauged into the routine of daily life. Whether they be the first, last, or middle, their babyhood goes much to fast. It is up to us to savor it.

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  12. Tears!! I need to go scoop up my "baby" now.

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  13. Oh, that is so good! Thanks for sharing. It's a very hard love to describe, eh?

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  14. Tears, tears! I was just having this discussion with my sister-in-law today. Her youngest 3 months, mine 8 months--we just want a baby forever!! That sweet light of a little one in your home...there is nothing like it! Thank you for sharing that beautiful quote!!

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  15. Awe what a beautiful quote, so dear. I love Janey's pinky cheeks. :)

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  16. I'm always five seconds from crying over my baby girl. This pushed me right over...sometimes, I don't know how to handle or process all of the emotion.

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  17. So true. What a beautiful quote, and just how I feel about my 15 month old as I now am 43 years old. It goes so very, very fast.

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  18. This made me cry just now! My baby turns 3 this Sunday and I can't believe it, in fact I may use the quote on my blog post about his birthday. :) It has flown by and while I love raising my family and being done with pregnancy and such, I will ALWAYS miss having a baby in my home! Something sweet and special about them.

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  19. I am so jealous. I had all six of my kids super close together. I knew that if I wanted a big family it would have to be fast. 6 kids in 9 years. It has been so exhausting. I feel bad that I haven't been able to enjoy my babies like I wanted to. I have been to busy putting out fires, just flying by the seat of my pants instead of the proactive parenting I wanted to do. Now my baby is 2 1/2 half and I doubt that I'll be able to have anymore and I'm just sad that I didn't have time to sit and enjoy those sweet babies. So enjoy her!

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  20. They're only little once!! We were blessed to have two, as I suffer from severe endometriosis, I put aside everything for them, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. There will be many working years ahead...mine are 13(boy), and 8(girl). :'(

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  21. This is perfect. I have loved and savored every minute of my fourth baby. (Ok, so maybe not at 2 am, 4 am AND 6 am). When she was a few months old having a party at midnight and both of her parents were lavishing our adoring attention upon her...we knew this girl was straight from heaven. I only wish I had the same perspective with the first ones!

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  22. Beautiful quote! I've seen your friend Erin's parent's home in Louisiana profiled in Country Living magazine.

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  23. I agree with you never short change a miracle - in the long run its such a short time and how quick does it fly by.

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  24. Oh my goodness, I love that quote so much. Which book of Kingsolver's is it from?

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