As I interviewed my Grandma, I relayed the next question on my sheet, "What do you love the most about parenting?" Her answer: "My babies." This statement effortlessly fumbled out of her mouth quicker than any other questions I asked. I held it together as I swallowed the lump in my throat, averting the scene I was about to create.
This incident was many weeks ago, yet the thought of it still haunts my heart. That gleam on her beautifully familiar face gave way to the great genuinity of her answer. Her babies. She loved her babies. This woman bore 8 children with birthdays ranging from 26 months apart to just shy of 12 months apart. This woman had to wash cloth diapers by hand with hauled water whilst carefully managing the preparations of cows milk for her babe's feeding supplement because she wasn't able to nurse. And yet, this woman still looks back on the years she held those little bundles as her favourite cherished moments.
The words love your babies keeps whispering to me as I stare at my baby boy.
There are too many harsh commentaries from today's exhausted mother. Too many rants about how hard it is. Too many platforms encouraging negative dialogue about how babies make life difficult.
It's 1 year, really. 1 year. You have a baby 1 year. 1 year you will never have again. You'll get a toddler for 2-3 years, a child 5-6 years, teenager 6 years, an adult, well, forever. BUT, you will never have that baby again. How precious, and sadly fleeting, a phase is the baby.
You only get 1 year. Make the most of it. It's true, they won't remember the rockabyes, the peekaboo's, the snuggles, the late nights, the early mornings, the messes, the giggles, the kisses, but YOU will. Even 60-70 years down the road, you will still remember.
Enjoy their little fingers and toes that grab, kick, and flutter. Enjoy those soft squishy cheeks and the sound of their breath and cries that settle into your ear. Enjoy those most innocent piercing eyes that seem to peer inside your soul. Enjoy this precious fleeting phase and love your babies.
Heaven's slice is loving her baby.