Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Loveliness of Babies

Well, turns out I missed the Fair for this one. Seems I missed the deadline because I, uh, didn't read directions! Hmm... I was just discussing this very issue with J1 last week - wonder where he gets it from, lol! At any rate, I've decided to leave the post up, even though I missed the fair. For those of you who manage to find it, enjoy! :-)

There has been a series of Blog "Fairs" discussing "Loveliness". From Simple Elegance in the Bedroom to Simple Elegance in the Living Room to the Loveliness of Autumn, these fairs have inspired me to think about beauty and elegance in my own life. The discussions over at the Real Learning Forums that led to thinking about the beauty in our lives are well worth a read! This week, Elizabeth over at Real Learning is hosting the Lovliness of Babies fair. How delightful!

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I adore babies! I'm not so overly fond of toddlers, lol, but babies are just the best! It has been quite some time (it feels like!) since we've had a baby in the AAA house. At one point, I had 4 children under 6 years of age, and I remember well how overwhelming it was. As much as I love the babies, caring for that many very young children stretched me to my absolute limits (I think! The Lord is awfully good at showing me how far my limits really are!) I have many friends right now who are there where I was, with lots of little ones, and I just keep telling them - it really does get easier! Bigger kids are such a help, and once you have someone you can actually converse with, your days become much more intellectually interesting, if perhaps not as snuggly and cuddly! As much as I enjoy my older children, as much easier as it is now that I have no one in diapers... still, the heart of my family longs for babies.

For a wide variety of reasons, the Lord has led us to this long gap between children. Many families I know are in similiar situations - longing for babies, but unable to welcome one into their lives. Whether through secondary infertility, repeated miscarriages, health issues, or other unavoidable life circumstances, it is exquisitely painful, in a strangely beautiful way, to wait for another little one. How do you keep that baby love alive, in yourself and your children, when you're in that difficult waiting part of life?

There are no easy answers, of course. In my own family, we enjoy looking back on our children's babyhood. On each birthday we re-tell the circumstances of their birth, and discuss what they were like as a baby. We ooh and ahh over every baby that we see - people always smile at us when my four young boys comment, loudly and repeatedly, about the cute babies we see! My boys all enjoy nurturing stuffed animals, even a baby doll or two. I love to see the nurturing, caring side to my boys!

Finally, in their bedroom (yes, all 4 boys share a room), we have a very special wall. On it, we have the name hangings a friend got as a welcome home present when we got our new house, and above each child's name, we have my favorite baby picture of each of them hung. The boys love looking at pictures of themselves as babies and I love looking at them and remembering them when they were so tiny!

The best part of the wall, for me, is the opportunity to see my children, both as babies, and as rapidly growing young men. I can look at them sleeping in their beds, and glance up to those beautiful pictures of the babes that they once were, and see the connection. When we are having A Discussion while they cry, pout, or stew on their beds, it helps me to glance up and see the little baby I once was so intimately connected with, almost instantly my patience and understanding increase. It helps the boys to see themselves - and their brothers - as babies, to understand that they weren't always so big and independent.

There's just something about babies, in photos, and especially in real life, that opens the heart with joy and tenderness!

Thanks to Elizabeth and the Real Learning folks for letting us take a closer look at the Loveliness of Babies!


Krisann said...

Thanks for sharing. :-)

Isla de Esperanza

Anonymous said...

What a great post. :)