Monday, July 25, 2011

a mother's love--or, Why Babies are Born

Dear G,
I was recently asked by your first-cousin-once-removed, by marriage, Cory, a question that has stayed with me for several days.
Why do women want babies? 
My instinctive, intellectual answer was, because we are hormonally programmed to procreate, basically, it's nature's way of keeping the human race going. My Catholic and faithful answer is because God wants it to be so. But, I really thought the question deserved more pondering. She commented, and I'm paraphrasing, that she feels many women want babies just like they want puppies, but often neglect the fact that babies, and puppies, grow up. I think, in several cases, this is true...but not always, and certainly not in my case. Babies are cute, snuggle-y, precious little gifts from God--but a lot of work goes in, and any pregnant woman who tells you that she isn't the least bit scared hasn't thought of the sleepless nights she will have worrying about her once-baby-now-17-year-old-who-hasn't-come-home-and-it's-2 am. Once that test shows positive, a woman never stops being a mother. She never goes on vacation and she never gets a break. Her children are always on her mind. Even when her children are grown, married, and have children of their own...she still worries about them. Grammy told me that in some ways, it is worse now, because now she has you to worry about too!
But, back to why women, specifically your mother, want babies. Aside from the scientific and divine, it comes down to an intrinsic motivation to love. My friend Rachel said that she wanted a baby because she had so much love left to give despite being in a wonderful marriage. This is where my thoughts come into play. I wanted a baby because of the love that your daddy and I share. Upon meeting him, I knew that we were supposed to be together, married, in love, in a family. I knew we were called by God to be a married couple with children. We are supposed to share the gifts that He has given us with others, primarily our children. The love that Daddy and I share is so special that you were born out of it. The bible says, "and the two shall become one," and through children that truly happens. That's what I told Cory, too. I told her that I wanted a baby because the love Daddy & I share is so great, we created another life that physically represents that love.
That's why I wanted a baby.
I am a mother because I want to help you grow into a woman worthy of heaven, but at the same time successful on Earth. I knew, before you were conceived, that it was my job to help you achieve those things. I have goals for you, but they are mostly fill-in-the-blank because as you grow up, you will develop your own goals that complete the vague ones that I have for you now.

I want you to love God.
I want you to achieve your intellectual potential.
I want you to help people.
I want you to be polite and understanding.
I want you to love and be compassionate.
I want you to be healthy.
I want you to be positive and optimistic.

These are a little more specific:
I want you to be good at conversation & relating to people from all walks of life.
I want you to be able to clean up after yourself & cook for yourself and others. 

On a more fun note, here are a few things that I am really looking forward to doing with you as you grow into a toddler.
Baking yummy treats together.
Drawing pictures for Daddy.
Going on walks, where you walk too!
Swinging together.
Going to a variety of lessons or practices and seeing what you excel at.
Snuggling up on a rainy day and reading books near the window.
Snuggling up on snow days, drinking hot cocoa and watching movies.
Making new friends & talking about what you did at his or her house.
Skipping chores and taking all day to build a tent fort to tell stories in.

Just so you know, I love being your mother now too...it's not all just forward thinking.

I love watching you wake up.
I love feeding you, even though you are so distracted sometimes.
I enjoy watching you explore your world, and seeing you get attached to things as they become a 'favorite'.
Your smile lights up a room, and I'm proud of you (and us!) when they compliment your behavior.
I appreciate how you get frustrated when you can't go where you want to go because you haven't figured out crawling yet...
I love everything about you!

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