My sweet little Eva will be ten months old in a week. Ten months have flown by since she was born last year on a chilly Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. I woke up with contractions that morning along with some discomfort, but I didn't think much of it because that seemed to be the norm at that point in my pregnancy. And it was still a few days
after all--I hadn't yet exceeded my due date as I had with the other kids. A busy day of pie making in preparation for our traditional "pie breakfast" on Thanksgiving morning waited in my future, and I was eager to get baking as I had literally been craving the peaches & cream pie since July. Babies come when they want to come, however, and arrive she did. 'Twas the night before Thanksgiving and Daddy and I were in the hospital holding our brand new baby girl.
As I snuggled her this week and thought about how much she's grown and changed, I realized that it's almost over. Our baby years, that is. I spent so many years wondering what our family would look like. Would God choose to bless us with children? And would that road be easy, or would it be riddled with infertility or loss? How many kids would we have? Would they be boys, girls, or a mix? What would we choose to name them? What would they look like? Would they be born healthy? Would I be able to love more then one child, and love them all the same? So many questions, so many unknowns.
And now here we are. I knew there would come a day when we would have our last baby. It would have to come.
I love the baby stage. I love their smallness, their softness, their innocence. Their attachment, their dependence. All the firsts. That unexplainable, unbreakable bond between a mother and child. The privilege of watching them grow and change. Someday is no longer a distant, abstract day in time. It's today. It's now. We had our last baby, and now that baby is more of a little girl than a baby with each passing day. Her little legs that were once so scrawny are now long and chubby. She has five big white teeth that sparkle every time she smiles. She says "Da-da," claps her hands, and dances. She will let go of the couch and just stand there. It's just a matter of time before she's taking that first step. Rare are the moments she falls asleep in my arms with her sweet, soft lips pursed and long fingers relaxed.
Where did the time go? I know that I was there, that I experienced it all. I held her, fed her, rocked her, changed her, bathed her, and loved her each and every day. As the "baby years" are slipping through my fingers, I find myself wondering, was I
there? In the moment? Did I love her enough? Did I cherish her, and all the other kids, enough? Was I paying attention? Did I count them as my most important work? I think so. I hope so.
"You will never have this day with your children again. Tomorrow, they'll be a little older than they were today. This day is a gift. Breathe and notice. Smell and touch them; study their faces and little feet and pay attention. Relish the charms of the present. Enjoy today, mama. It will be over before you know it."
As we enter the next chapter, I know that it will have blessings of it's own, along with more questions and unknowns. I pray that the Lord will help me focus on what really matters amidst all the distractions, and that with Him I'll be enough.
as a mother when you act like your Redeemer, dear one. When you talk like he talked, love like he loved, forgive like he forgave, and teach like he taught. When you launch your children into this big, exciting, wonderful world, that is all that will matter. It is what they'll remember and imitate. It is enough."