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.


legendswife said...

oh such sweet babies. They truly are a blessing. Have a wonderful day:)

Recovering Sociopath said...

Good for you!

Nell said...

Oh new babies!