After 2 years of chasing toddlers and breaking up the hourly fights over everything from milk cups to their favorite Star Wars toy, I’d forgotten about the place in my heart that houses that beautiful, tender and most perfect form of love. The love for a newborn.
You’re 10 days old today.
And even though you’re my third baby in less than 4 years, I’d completely forgotten.
About that place in my heart.
The place that is beautiful, soft and gentle.
The place that houses that kind of love.
The kind of love that is pure and tender.
The kind of love that is perfect.
It’s the kind of love that, I’ve realized, has melted away the ugly shell that’d been locked around my heart. A layer of hardness that had accumulated through a rough pregnancy and 2 years of raising your older brothers, ages 2 and 3.
Of course, I love your older brothers. But since you’ve come along, I’ve realized that my love for them is different. It’s no less than the love I have for you, but it’s executed so much differently.
It’s the kind of love that requires a boatload of patience, as I break up the hourly fights over their favorite Star Wars toy. A love that requires massive amount of self-control, as I issue warnings and enforce time-outs, over and over. It’s a love that requires an endless supply of compassion, as I look into their mischievous eyes and explain the day’s lesson at hand.
In fact, for most of the last 2 years, it turns out, I haven’t really needed to access that special, tucked-away place in my heart.
The place that is soft, beautiful and sweet.
The place that allows me to speak in the most tender voice.
To touch with the most delicate, gentle touch.
To gaze with the most perfect, satisfied gaze. For as long as I want.
Dearest Baby, I have to thank you. Because, in your newborn coos and perfect little squeaks, you’ve helped me find something I nearly thought was gone.
A place in my heart, that I’d thought was cold and mean. A place that seemed chained off, locked shut. A place in my heart that I’d thought was altogether lost.
You helped me find a beautiful, most amazing place that, I’d forgotten, still exists within me.
The place in my heart that houses the purest, most uncomplicated form of love.
The love for a newborn.
As I sit, nursing you for hours a day, I get to gaze at your sweet, needy face. The face that trusts me, implicitly and completely, to supply every single thing you need.
The eyes, those transparent, crystal blue eyes, that I get to watch as they quietly explore the room, and you see everything in this world for the very first time. (What an incredible miracle to witness!)
The mouth, and those perfectly delicious little newborn lips, that open when you’re hungry, even when your eyes stay closed. It’s an act that is so beautiful. Because in those seconds, I know that you fully trust me to give you everything that you need.
Sweet Baby, I know that one day you will frustrate me. Before long, I’m fully aware that you will be joining in on the fights over the Star Wars toy. You will talk back, and inevitably someday, you will disappoint me.
Of course, I’ll still love you with the deepest and most steadfast, loyal love that only a mother can know.
But today, I’m not going to think about that.
Because all I’ve got time for is basking in your perfect newborn glow.
I’m going to drink in your sweet smell and swim around in those blue eyes. I’m going to cuddle up in your layers of warm baby fat and get lost in your perfect little squeaks. I’m going to watch your innocent face twitch in your sleep, and try to guess what you’re dreaming about.
I’m going to cradle your perfect, tiny, warm body as you lay on my chest.
And do my best not to cry.
Because I’m so grateful that God has given me another baby to love.
And the most pure, perfect, sweet love that exists.
So, Dearest Baby, this flawed and imperfect mother just wanted to say one thing to you today. I realize it might be years before you can understand what I’m saying, but that’s okay.
Thank you, Sweet Baby, for finding my heart.
For a while, it’d been damp and drafty. Dark and cold. Hard and bitter.
But, thanks to you, I’ve rediscovered a part of my heart that is warm and soft.
Sweet and gentle.
Delicate and tender.
In the very best way.
And totally just for you, my Dear Baby.