BABIES AND SPRING GO TOGETHER
As my thoughts turn to spring, I see daffodils and tulips rising from the barren winter landscape. I see little baby ducks and geese and rabbits. I see zoo babies. And most of all, I see human babies.
I love babies and try to understand them. This is not something I was taught. Some people are naturals with babies and some are not. To love and understand babies, you need to be able to give of yourself 100 per cent and have the ability and will to love unconditionally. Sometimes that is not easy or fun. It can be hard work, especially if you’ve never experienced the totality of giving yourself.
My grandmother was someone who understood babies. She had her first child when she was 17 and her second at18. When she was 90 years old she cared for her 72 year old daughter at home, who was dying of pancreatic cancer. You would think that if you lived to be 90 that your child would be caring for you. So you never know the length of time that you could be caring for this baby for whom you just labored and gave birth.
For the most part, however, most of us won’t be taking direct care of our children past age 18, maybe 20. I know, that seems like a long time when you are looking at that little face, but it goes by in the blink of an eye. So make the most of this time that you have to nurture this new little person and try to understand and resond to your baby’s needs.
At times you will be totally frustrated. Why won’t she stop crying? you ask. Why doesn’t she sleep at night when I need her to sleep? you sigh. Will this infant stage never end? you cry. And of course, she will stop crying when she gets what she needs-at this stage crying is one of her only ways of communicating. She will eventually sleep through the night but you may be exhausted by the time she does. And, yes, the infant stage does end. So, please, relish this time, cuddling your baby while she nurses; cherish her smiles and her coos. Before you know it she will be walking, talking and into everything.
My two children are grown and have given me four granddaughters. My granddaughters aren’t babies anymore. In the far distant future I am looking forward to holding a great- granddaughter in my arms, which reminds me of the birth of my second granddaughter. I was holding her in my arms and I said, Look at Grandma’s Angel. Her older sister who was five at the time looked at me and said, Now you have two Angels. Well, now I have four and I treasure every moment I have with them.
Enjoy your baby. This time with your child will not come again.
-2004 Annie Davis