Yeah, I just don't see that playing well.
So, I write. Sometimes I write sermon notes, sometimes I write my own take on the day's scripture or sometimes I just write. Just in case this horrifies you, I don't write when I hear the sermon the first time...just the second or, sometimes, third time...we do church a lot.
Today, I wrote about something heavy on my mind and bladder these days...having a baby. Specifically, those first few days of being a mother. I know it is Father's Day, but I have never been a father, so I really can't comment more than I am grateful my husband is a good one!
|To future self: This is Ollie.|
Dear New Mother,
These first days are so difficult and overwhelming that I wish I could sit right next to you and help you through them. I wish I could ease the transition from woman to woman-mother, and I hope someone is there to help you bear your shock. There is no way to prepare for the tearing arrival of a new born life. There is no book to read that will give you more than a glimpse into the wonderful, glorious devastation of motherhood. A child gives you a new life and one simply cannot--should not keep on with life as was. This gift of a child cannot arrive without changing you utterly, but like any change it isn't instant or painless.
Those first days are huge and your soul struggles to lurch forward moment by moment. I know you are tired, desperate, wounded and terrified. I know you are amazed by this new life and also wondering if you are enough for this child. Hear this one thing: this child is God's child and while you are most certainly not enough, God will not abandon God's child. You are deeply called to guide this small one toward the God who is the Creator and true parent of all small ones. So, know that you are not alone, and there is a reason they come in small packages. Parents get to grow up with their children. Never be afraid to learn, but remember that you have been given unique stewardship of this child of God and are perfectly tailored for the task.
These first six weeks remember that God's community surrounds you. As you struggle to feed your baby and yourself, learn to ask for help. Expose yourself to opportunities for others to show radical hospitality to you. For six blessed weeks, give yourself permission to hold your baby and let that baby smell work its magic. Let your house fall to shambles. Eat peanut butter crackers. Take baths. Cry. But do not be alone. Reach out when you need it. Love your baby and let others love you. Know that the pain eases, that those cloudy eyes clear, and soon your tired eyes will see a smile bloom over that little toothless face that will leave you breathless.
Hang on, Mama. I love you and I am proud of you. The life of your child has just begun and it is miraculous. Your wild, compelling, unyeilding journey into motherhood is before you. Put your feet on the path and let it astound you.