Solomon (and his mother)

Solomon (and his mother)


I love him with a terrifying, fierce tenderness that feels impossible to manage. It is wild and uncontainable. How do mothers dwell with this burning fire? It is a bursting kind of love that will not stay neat and tidy in my heart but alters the entire landscape of my body, soul and self, of future, of will, of prayers, thoughts, desires, dreams, everyday rhythms, and more. It is all-consuming. How do other mothers go through their lives looking so normal? How can anything be normal when something this powerful thrives, thrums, sings and swells within? 

How can some mothers be cruel? I cannot conceive how some mothers do not love their children, who are not kind, who hurt their little ones. And I am terrified of my own human nature that may one day speak a harsh word or somehow crush this tiny person's spirit and I pray oh God, may it not be so!

He is ten weeks old now, almost eleven.

I don't have the words to shape the last 75 days in ways that make sense or convey all that's in my heart. It has been the sweetest and most surreal time of my life. I have cried and prayed more than at any other time in my life. My beloved son arrived at 7:47 PM on the last Thursday in July and I can't remember life before him; he was always meant to be and I didn't know it, yet here he is, this precious gift from God.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.—James 1:17
He is sleeping now, so I am watching over him as I write and I hope to finish these words today. It is the first time he's slept (other than in the car) while not laying against my breast. My little one was born wanting to be close, and has not liked his bassinet or being swaddled or being in a sling, a carseat, or a baby swing. My arms and my husband have carried him nearly every moment of every day since he arrived. 

He is sleeping now, and yet I miss him when he sleeps. It's both relief and bittersweet, because I miss the kisses and the blueberry eyes and the way his fingers wrap so tightly around mine when he is awake. Remember the song by Aerosmith that was popular a while back? The lyrics are so much more poignant now...

"I don't want to close my eyes
I don't want to fall asleep
'cause I'd miss you, baby
And I don't wanna miss a thing..."

Someone asked me once, "Is he a happy baby?" It felt strangely unexpected because I would say no, he is not what many would call a happy baby. I love that he is attached; I wouldn't have it any other way, and it is a simple statement of fact that he cries more than smiles and does not like to sleep much during the day. So my hands and heart are full and overflowing as we learn how to be together. I am blessed to live through the beauty and the ache of it all...the ache of not being able to soothe every cry; the ache of my body that is still recovering from childbirth and from sleeping only, ONLY on my back for ten weeks as I cradle my son; the struggles with breastfeeding. It hasn't been easy, but it's been holy. I've discovered a secret door of grace as my son and I cry together through hard days and nights and send prayers to our heavenly Father.

So here we are, being and loving and praying through the days. 

I am so tender with it all. Motherhood is opening new windows of understanding to the heart of God, along with deeper awe and gratitude for what He has done for me—for all of us. It's one thing (a wonderful, soul-lifted-in-praise thing!) to have done it for me, but He sent His beloved, only begotten Son to die for my beloved, only begotten son. As a mama, I could not make a sacrifice like this. As a mama, I fall on my knees in thanksgiving for all the Lord has done. I pray that I can raise my son to know what God has done, and to love and live for Him all his days.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name...
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
Ps. 63:3-4, 7

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