I see the way she glows. The way she gently rubs her belly, that smile which rounds her face. I remember being her. I remember the feelings, the anticipations, joys, fears. Wondering what it was going to be like, to have a child of my own.
I now have two kids. And when I see her, this is what I want to say:
It is going to be hard–brutally hard. There will be nights so awful you will not even be allowed to cry yourself to sleep. You will instead cry standing up, walking the halls with an inconsolale little one.
There will be days when you will feel like a real live cow. You will spend your hours doing nothing but feeding, changing, and bathing a fussy baby. You will look in the mirror at your spit up barring self and barely recognize the scary thing staring back at you. Then you will quickly look away, for it will be time to feed again.
You will look at your childless friends and sigh, wondering what it would feel like to have that much freedom again. To pamper yourself, to shower when you like. To actually have the last few hours of the day to do whatever you want. You will imagine what Saturday feels like for them, what sleeping in must do to one’s soul. You will try to remember those days of old, but the screaming in the background will make it hard to remember.
You will be torn between this perpetual state of boredom and exhaustion. You will stare at the walls, desperate to get out, but just as you’re about to leave you will find a nice stain growing upon the baby’s backside. And now it is bath time once more.
For some reason you will decide all of this is the greatest thing in the world. That nothing in life could match the beauty of what you hold in your arms. You will find yourself weeping uncontrollably in love. You will finally stop crying to simply stare–for hours–at the miracle in front of you.
You will hear something so little as its first laugh and decide your life is now complete. You will talk baby gibberish for insane amounts of time, and find each minute of it pure excitement, as long as the baby is gibbering back.
You will no longer care too much for your own needs, or desires–besides a shower that is. This little bundle will take precedence before everything else. And you will lie there in complete wonder that you were ever able to live without this one you now live for. Your world, your life, your everything, lying here upon your chest, breathing in sweet peace next to you.
So rub your precious belly dear momma, and dream. Make those dreams as big and beautiful as you can. For believe me, no imagining will ever come close to the indescribable beauty which lies ahead.
*Photo credit: jessieleigphotography.com