There is one quote that keeps running through my mind in these early weeks of having a newborn. It’s by ET Sullivan: “The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.” Very few forces change a home like a baby does (although my house certainly looks like an earthquake hit it). Life becomes a dichotomy. I live in one of two extremes. On one side of the pendulum I feel like I will never sleep or have an orderly house, or fit into my old clothes again. On the other side, I am astounded at how the feeling in my home has changed, and the presence this little one brought with him. One minute I’m shedding tears of exhaustion, and the next, tears of awe at those first adorable smiles and the realization of how profoundly this person will change my life. I’m surprised at how much and how instantly I love him. Yes, I’ve experienced this before, but not with him.
Experience has taught me what is right around the corner. Somewhere I’ll see a mom with a baby younger than mine, and just like that, the newborn stage is gone. My baby will seem so big. Someday my house will recover from “baby earthquake” and I’ll be exercising and making dinner again, but I’ll never have this newborn back. So pile up, dishes; grow a little taller, dandelions. I’ll be forgetting a few more commitments this week, ’cause there’s a baby in the house and he’ll be grown before I know it. Is it possible the older children are also growing and changing this rapidly, and I’ve just taken it all for granted? I chuckle when my middle son says “healthings” instead of “helpings” and inwardly hope he doesn’t outgrow it. My 4-year-old daughter can ride off on her two-wheeler without me this summer. Perhaps I shouldn’t have wished away the training wheels so quickly.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, than here is my attempt at a million “word” photo essay of the ups and downs and highs and lows of letting everything else go to embrace a new baby.
Sleep whenever you can:
My yard is a jungle:
Is he breathing?
Costco lasagna on paper plates:
Who has time for dishes?
Post-natal pain killers:
Piles of things left undone:
Life feels like one long day after another with a series of naps
Ian is always right beside him
Progress is measured in ounces
Sibling Rivalry (Leah is actually screaming in this shot).
Slowly Leah adjusted
That's a lot of people to look after
And sometimes after many failed attempts:
Everyone looks at the camera: