Saturday, January 16, 2010

Good to Be

Tonight at supper I kept noticing a lady at the table next to us watching my family. I caught her eye several times, and she quickly looked away, embarrassed that I made eye contact with her. I wondered what interested her so. I wondered if she envied me with my sweet family. I didn't find it hard to imagine that. If I were someone else, I'd envy me. That's a really good feeling.

It's good to be the Mama.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hold Me Close

I have a baby who doesn't like me to put him down. If I put him on my bed while I change clothes, he whimpers and whines until I pick him up. If I put him in his crib, he turns red in the face and wails as though I've abandoned him forever. And so I pick him up.

I've read about 50 parenting books. I get all the parenting magazines. I get weekly emails from BabyCenter updating me on what my baby SHOULD be doing and how I SHOULD be responding. Popular belief seems to be that the best thing to do is to let him cry a little--show him that he won't die if he's left alone--and "teach" him to be independent of me.

Fortunately, I learned long ago to ignore popular opinion.

I put myself in his shoes (or lack thereof), and I realize that it does feel scary to be put down. The world is big and bright and noisy, and, by contrast, Mama's arms feel comfortable, warm, familiar. I often put him in a sling and "wear" him to free up my hands. It's convenient. Sometimes I wear him for his benefit and not mine, however. If he's overstimulated or overtired it helps if I pop him in the sling and sway a little. The outside world goes away, and he can relax in the comfort of my embrace. He usually goes to sleep and dozes peacefully for as long as I will let him.

I understand his need to be held close, for the world to disappear. Every Sunday morning my church sings the first verse of "Jesus Draw Me Close" as a sung prayer:

Jesus, draw me close

Closer, Lord, to You.

Let the world around me fade away.

Jesus, draw me close

Closer, Lord, to You.

For I desire to worship and obey.

As I'm singing these sweet words, I picture God wrapping his arms around me, refusing to put me down. Sometimes the world feels hard and overwhelming, and I am just sure that God has left me. I whimper (and sometimes even wail) and then feel His arms around me. He hasn't left after all--He was there all the time. I picture Him shhing softly in my ear and promising to make everything okay as He holds me tight. He's an attachment parent. It feels so very good. I can see why Nolan likes it so much.

And that's why I wear my baby. That's why I love attachment parenting. Those "experts" have it all wrong.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year. Fresh Start.

I saw this bumper sticker yesterday that said, "More Wag. Less Bark." I tried to get a picture of it, but the light turned green before I could get my camera out, so you'll just have to take my word for it. Anyway, I liked it. I think I've been barking far too much lately. My kids are slow to do their chores. Bark. There is too much noise in the house. Bark, bark. And I've been wagging far too little.

So, my new year's resolution: More Wag. Less Bark.

Also, my first baby lost his first tooth on this first day of the new decade. Put the brakes on. It's moving too fast.

Happy New Year, friends. I hope that your 2010 is filled with many blessings and that you wag far more than you bark.

*I DID write this on New Year's Day. Unfortunately, blogger was not feeling cooperative. I haven't been able to get it to post until today. So, Happy New Year a few days late.