Saturday, February 26, 2011

Knowing When You're Done

My dear friend had a baby this week.  As we spoke on the phone this morning, I learned the details -- when her water broke, the length of labor, how the little one was taking to nursing, and how my friend's recovery was progressing.

Like any parent with a newborn, her life is in upheaval.  There's nothing typical or routine about coming home with a new baby, even if you've done it before.  They're in the throes of blurred days and nights.  Guests stop by with meals and well-wishes.  Cards and gifts arrive in the mail.  Thank you notes must be written.  Nursing bras get broken in.  A burp cloth is perpetually draped over a shoulder.  Standing and sitting are done gingerly, and trips up and down the stairs are limited.

It's a whirlwind, punctuated with extensive picture-taking, emotional surges, and interrupted sleep.  It's simultaneously awe-inspiring and exhausting.

As I imagined everything that my friend must be going through, I realized one thing with utter clarity and peace: I'm fine being past that stage in life.

This wasn't a quick realization for me.  I love babies, and nostalgia has tugged as I've begun sorting our baby items to donate or sell.  There are stories behind those newborn onesies.  There are memories embedded within those leaving-the-hospital outfits.  There are mental snapshots conjured when I run my hand over the bodice of a tiny dress.  Even though my three children are still so young in the scheme of things, I can't help but catch my breath at how quickly it's already passing.

I remind myself that the stories, memories, and mental snapshots will continue, even if the clothes that my children wear now are bigger and marred with ketchup and grass stains, rather than with spit-up.

My heart knows.  I'm okay with being done.

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful words. I always feel an ache in my heart when I hear about the joys of new motherhood. Since we met Sophie when she was 6 months old, we didn't go through that and I'll never know what it's like. Of course, I have different set of memories, feelings, and experiences that I wouldn't trade for the world. :)

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  2. I just found your blog and became your newest follower. Wanted to say hi! :)

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  3. I'm completely done. It's hard to pack stuff up to sell, but it's also wonderful to watch your children grow. I always knew I wanted two kids. I'm so happy our family is complete and I never have to do the newborn thing again. Great post

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  4. I am sitting here after reading this, I am 7 months pregnant and just beginning on my journey! I am so exxcited for all of this ahead of me and as I read this I was nostalgic for events that I haven't even gone through yet.

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  5. This made me tear up a little. :)

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  6. I wish I could say the same. I KNOW I'm not done. I'm okay with it some days...and other days, I just wanna cry. :)

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