Friday, August 12, 2011

How do you tell someone?

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A couple of months ago I did a maternity session with the sweetest couple.   They were expecting their first baby, and there was no way you could leave their presence and not feel extreme excitement for them.  It was so touching to watch the love between them in their looks and sweetness for one another.  And to add some adventure, they had decided not to find out if the baby was a boy or girl until the arrival date.  The due date was yesterday, and while I had tried not to pester the mom about having that baby on Wednesday (which we all know was my daughter's 21st birthday!) I was hopeful.  But in being very much like the parents, this little baby decided to start the arrival on the due date.  Even though I slept with my phone right by my side, I missed the message that came in at 2:15 am that HE had arrived... and Mommy and baby boy were doing well.  Oh, the excitement!  

A new baby has made my heart skip a beat and brought tears to my eyes for as long as I can remember.  Even as a child, hearing of the birth of a baby was undoubtedly one of the most special moments.  But then when I became a Mom myself it became something even more real.  Now as my kids have grown up and I have so many years of motherhood under my belt, you would think I could control the tears of joy at the news of each new baby -- but so far it's not working that way.  There is so much I want to tell a new Mom... so much I wish I had known.  And so much that is just impossible to explain to someone, and I only hope and pray that they see the gift in front of them.

How do you explain the great love you feel for that baby who you have carried inside of you for months?  You imagine and hope and dream... and then all of a sudden that child is right there in your arms and the feeling is so much more than you ever imagined!  But it only goes on and grows from there.  My kids are now grown, and I am a Mom who believes in them growing up and being independent.  I don't call them constantly (even though I would like to!) and I allow them to make their mistakes and learn from their consequences.  But what they don't know -- and what I didn't know when they were first born -- is that they are attached to my heart in some special way.  I feel their pains, their disappointments and their joys.  How do you explain to someone holding their new baby that life will just never be the same, and they no longer have control over their heart?  It is amazing how much love our hearts can hold, and there are not words to explain that to someone.  

When I look back to over 24 years ago when my first son was born, I remember wondering if I would ever be able to stop crying.  My joy was so much greater than anything I had ever felt, and the tears just flowed.  The answer is "No"... 24 years and two more children later, the tears have been many.  The sacrifices have sometimes been huge.  But there is not even one day that I would change -- not even the worst of the days -- if it possibly meant not having the opportunity to be Mom to these kids.  And there is no way to tell someone about that... they must find out for themselves.  

Congratulations my friend... I am so happy for you!  Life will never be the same, and you will see everything in a different light.  Your ability to love has just grown to a new level, and you will be amazed at the great lengths you will be willing to go for that new little life in your arms.  It's hard to imagine, but motherhood is just a small glimpse of the great love God has for us.