Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bundle of Blessings

me and my bundle, seven years ago
This post appears in the Christian Home Magazine. Check it out!

     Today my son Nate turns seven. It's hard to believe this science-loving, marathon-racing, book-devouring bundle of sheer energy and creativity was one just ... well, a bundle.

     Nate was by far the most difficult of my babies. Which meant that when his two little brothers were born I was completely prepared for everything coming way way. (Or not.) All jokes aside, I certainly did learn a lot during my very first year of motherhood. So in honor of Nate's birthday, I am passing on to you the lessons brought to me by my first little bundle of ... well, you know.

1) Your definition of minor discomfort is not my definition of minor discomfort. I'm talking specifically about that fun day or two after delivery when your milk comes in. Ouch. What to Expect did NOT prepare me for that! Let's extrapolate for a moment, though. What you might experience as a tiny nuisance may be painful enough to have me walking at a 45 degree angle for a week. Or a month. Don't judge my reaction to something until you've walked in my shoes. Or worn my nursing bra.

2) Bring a change of clothes to church. It just so happened that Sundays were Nate's preferred day for blow-outs. One mess at church was so bad that my son had dirty squirties oozing out of his diaper, onto his back, then up and around his shoulder and torso. Two adults, 37 papers towels, and a very messy church sink afterwards, Nate was somewhat clean. The only problem is I forgot to bring his extra clothes that day.

     Moral? I've got two to offer. The first is to do what our current church does and keep a few baby outfits on hand for new and unprepared parents facing similar emergencies. The second is to realize that Nate actually had it right; Sundays should be the one day of the week where we are most willing to show our "muddier" selves. Instead we spend Sunday mornings pretending that everything in our lives is smooth as a baby's you-know-what (and I'm talking about a clean baby here, by the way).

3) Breastmilk is sweet. Unless it's regurgitated. Yes, I'm the mom who got spit-up in her mouth. Her open mouth, to make matters worse. In my defense, my novel experience of tasting my own curdled milk was the result of a fun Super-man style game that had my baby giggling and smiling. It also gave Nate's spit-up the perfect route to land on my tongue and glide effortlessly down my throat as I laughed at my charming little superhero.

     Do you need me to tell you that it wasn't all that pleasant? How many of us, unfortunately, have shocked or disgusted others by the things we "spit up" when provoked? With all the death and bitterness we can spew out, it's no wonder God calls the mouth an open grave (Psalm 5:9).

4) Healing doesn't make your scars disappear. Seven years ago, my doctor cut me up, pulled back my abdominal muscles, spliced open my uterus, and yanked out a six-pound, fifteen-ounce alien. All right, he was actually a baby, but since I had never seen a brand-new, fresh-from-the-womb infant before, I truly was surprised at Nate's appearance. (Not quite the Gerber baby I expected. Not yet, at least.)

     Four weeks after my C-section, I stopped taking pain meds. Four weeks after that I stopped feeling sore. But seven years later, I've still got a scar.

    You know the story about the woman in labor that Jesus tells his disciples? She's in pain at the time, but once her baby is born she "forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world" (John 16:21). I'm glad I'm no longer in labor. I'm glad my incision site no longer feels like a thousand red fire ants are trying to reopen my wound from the inside. But I've still got that six-inch scar. 

     When I think about my life's journey, I'm thankful for the healing God has brought me after that painful tests I've suffered. I see the good that's come from the trials I've had to endure. But my memory hasn't been erased. My scars still remain. So do yours, if you're anything like me. And that's nothing to be ashamed of.

     Today I celebrate the life of an amazing seven year old boy. And I thank God for all the blessings the Almighty sent down to me wrapped up in that cute, cuddly (and sometimes very messy) bundle of joy.

What about you? What has parenthood taught you about life, the Lord, or the more unsavory sensations of infancy? (Feel free to leave your comment below.)

1 comment:

  1. LOL We're getting into the nitty-gritty now! One lesson I've learned as a parent is when a situation narrows your reactionary choices down to scream, cry, or laugh, it's best to laugh.