In one of my earlier posts I mentioned how there are days my sons are connected in ways that take me back to when they were infants. We had one of those days last week after Mother’s Day. It’s fresh on my mind and I’d like to take a post to write something for all of the parents. If you haven’t watched the Babies series on Netflix, I highly encourage you to do so immediately (but immediately after reading the post). Regardless of if you have kids, it’s fascinating the questions researchers are asking about babies and the answers they find! All of this comes from just watching them and letting them tell their stories in the most beautiful ways.
When each of my sons were born, I would just watch them sleep for hours. All of their little movements and sounds were the most precious things I ever witnessed. If I think of what heaven may sound like, it’s the peaceful innocence of my baby boys sleeping or laughing. But my love didn’t start when watching them sleep, which I’ve found myself doing a lot of recently. My love started from them the moment I found out I was pregnant. I always thought this was wild because I felt like I had the privilege of choosing to be each of their mothers. I chose them and continue choosing them every day. My choosing to be a parent was confirmed in one of the Babies episodes (I won’t say more about the study because I don’t want to spoil anything else). I was overwhelmed to tears because there are so many things parents can’t control but we can control choosing our kids every single day.
None of this choosing business makes parenting any easier though. There are many tough days when you have children. You struggle. You get frustrated. You feel unworthy and unprepared. You feel unappreciated. But you love them anyway. On one of those extra loving days, I was moving slower than usual in a good way. I was taking everything easy that day and just being. I took my time with my coffee and just enjoyed watching my boys laugh with one another and tell their inside sibling jokes. I eventually moved to the couch and they found their way to me. We curled up on the couch together and watched a documentary, I answered the random questions they asked, and we chuckled at their kid remarks to situations they aren’t yet mature enough to understand. We were gentle with one another that day, not putting pressure to follow the schedule or be productive in the capitalist way the US makes us think we should always be productive.
As we sat together, I went back in my mind years before. Although I felt them snuggling next to me, I saw myself holding their little bodies as they looked up at me with those beautiful infant eyes to let me know they trusted me with all of their vulnerabilities. They told me in that baby way how much they loved me and were excited to get to know me. I responded from inside of myself that I would do my best to always be there and love them with every fiber of my being. I shared that I would take care of them and always make sure they never went a day without knowing they were safe and loved. An inappropriate joke brought me back to reality, but I’m so happy I allowed myself to be with them over the years in the moments of that day.
Spending all day, every day with my boys has made us more interconnected than we’ve ever been. Sometimes that means we know when not to speak to one another because silence and alone time are necessary in those moments. Other times we know when a kiss on the forehead and an “I love you” are the balm to the weariest days without ever having to ask for it. There are so many things we’re feeling these days, but I sincerely hope you allow yourselves to feel the love around you on the best and worst of these days. Slow down and be gentle with yourselves and your kids. Really listen to their voices and laughs. Watch their hands create and have those unspoken conversations with them. Sit and be in your parenthood and their childhood. We all need more of that.
Be well, my friends ♥