I just adore this child. Especially those legs! Those arms! He is so chunky, so sturdy, and he has the most gorgeous skin. Most of us are pretty fair, but Rosie and Henry have this gorgeous Mediterranean skin, smooth and deep, and did I mention gorgeous? He’s round about 20 lbs already. (!) He’s very much wanting to taste our meals, so I share anything that’s tastable, like mashed potatoes and ice cream. He usually sleeps pretty well, but he’s so big that I wake him up between 2 and 3AM to feed him, just to keep my milk supply up for him. Lately, though, he’s been waking two or three times per night, and sleeping a lot during the day. I suspect another growth spurt is imminent. (!) He has a most lovely personality, much milder than Miss Evie, which is good, because two Evies in a row would be crazy! One Evie is more than enough for anybody. But if you can follow an Evie up with a Henry, you’re doing okay.
A couple of weeks ago, I had both of these babies lined up on the floor for tandem diaper changes. (Evie’s taking a potty break.) “Look at me!” I said to Davey. “I’m 44 years old! What were we thinking?” But here’s the reality. These people – these children, this man – are my road to Heaven. They are the ones who inspire me to be more than I am. They open me up to a bigger and more meaningful life than I would ever have found on my own.
So, twenty years into my motherhood, I still change lots of diapers. I still cut food into tiny pieces or mush it in a blender. I still wake multiple times in the middle of the night to check on small people. I still think of outings in terms of stroller-friendliness. I’m still limited, bound by the needs of children who depend on me for their most basic needs.
And twenty years into my motherhood, I still need to learn over and over again about sacrificial love. I still need to learn to die to self, to not mind another diaper change, to work cheerfully with only one free arm, to patiently rise from my bed to nurse by the light of a digital clock, to listen to another story, to toilet train another child, to commit to educating just one more. It’s hard, and in some ways, it’s getting harder.
But then, those sweet faces smile at me, pudgy arms wrap themselves around my neck, and I melt into a puddle of contentment.
What the heck. Sleep is for sissies anyway.