Dear Charlie’s Mama,
You and I have shared many things. A 482- mile relocation to a little town in North Carolina. Late night test-prep over coffee and chocolate. When we became friends we were giggly high school girls who snickered in a bus seat at “inside jokes.” Now we are women and wives. And in a few short months, you will add the title, Mama, to your repertoire. You are so suited to this.
You may not always remember that, but I hope you do.
There will be days not too far away when you rock back and forth next to a crib, hold your breath and lay a burrito-like swaddled little boy down. You tuck him in tight and slowly back out of the room– wincing if he makes one little noise that might signal his waking– and thus bringing you back in for round two (or round 17 for that matter.) You will undoubtedly look at him and he will take your very breath away. There is no substitute for the awestruck wonder that takes hold in your heart when you look into that little face and you see it. The mirror like image of yourself and the one you love, staring right back at you in fresh-from-heaven newness of life.
There may be wee hours of the morning when it’s all a little much. The sheer and ultimate exhaustion. The just falling asleep to wake up a short time later. At one point or another, you will realize that it’s always you he wants. Always. And while that’s a wonderfully amazing thing, it’s tough. Sometimes it’s all a little tough. You may feel it best to stay in the house until he’s potty-trained. Don’t do it. You will run out of Paper Towels and Coffee eventually anyway. (You must NOT let yourself run out of coffee.) And, each and every time you brave the outside world with that new little person, you’ll get better at it. And when he has a meltdown in the middle of the toothbrush aisle at Target, just know– you are doing it ALL right. There is nothing you can do to do it better and you are EXACTLY the mom for this job.
There are countless books, blogs, articles and forums on Mothering. Choose wisely, but be familiar with the art of throwing the book back on the shelf and trusting yourself as the expert on Charlie. Mother’s Intuition, or whatever you call it, you are the only mother in the world who can rightfully know what HE needs.
And when you really don’t know what to do, or when you wonder if you’re doing it right, or how you ended up here, I have a little piece of advice for you. Pray. And then,
Go in your kitchen. Turn on the music and Dance. Together. All three of you. Just dance and play and laugh.
And as you dance, remember that life is full of surprises. And Motherhood is full of even more surprises. You might be surprised how hard it is. You might be surprised at how easy it is. You might be surprised as how fast you can wear your regular pants again (Call me, I will celebrate with you.) You might be surprised at how often you find yourself singing over him, just as God’s Word says HE sings over us. You might just be surprised at the renewed love you feel for your Heavenly Father as you look into the face of your own, firstborn son. Some surprises will be frustrating and will produce hot, wet tears of confusion over why “he just won’t sleep… or eat.” You’ll be surprised how in about five minutes, you are packing his lunch for his first day of Kindergarten– that surprise will bring with it a huge lump in your throat. Some surprises will bring you to your knees in gratefulness. Stay there an extra minute and know that as much of a gift that Charlie is to you, you two amazing parents are a gift to him. Every new season will bring new surprises, new challenges and plenty of need to trust the One who gave him to you.
And know that nothing can possibly prepare you for the fact that, in the first five minutes you lock eyes with him, your world will be forever and surprisingly wonderfully changed. I would tell you to take a mental photograph in that moment, but there is absolutely no way you will ever forget it for the rest of your days.
That crazy friend of yours who can’t wait to hold your baby and love him as you love mine!
I’ve been wanting to write on this subject ever since beginning to read, Lisa Jo Baker’s BRAND NEW (Released TODAY!!) book, Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom
Here’s the beautiful and inspiring trailer– I dare you not to reach for the tissues!
Lisa Jo’s book is probably the BEST book on Motherhood I’ve read in a long time. Surprised by Motherhood is a beautiful telling of her honest journey to and through Motherhood. It has become my newest book to give to Mamas. Whether a new Mom with a beautiful round expectant tummy, or grandma who has been mothering for 40 years, this book will touch your heart and remind you of the sacred everydayness that is Mothering.
AND, because I LOVE the book, I LOVE her and I LOVE all of you– I have a copy to give away!!! Just comment here for a chance to win by random entry. Giveaway will go for two weeks. I will choose a winner on April 15th– which also happens to be Tax Day– because, frankly Motherhood can be taxing but it’s always worth it!
Buy your copy of Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom TODAY! (affiliate link)
**This post was written for a Kindred-Spirit-Close-friend-family-member of mine– She’s about to embark into the brave new world of Motherhood and I cannot wait to share in her joy!