Watching my dear daughter go through the stages of birthing a new human into the world is a wonderful, difficult, scary, exciting, joyful experience. But it is called labor for a reason. It is also a huge, overwhelming task that encompasses the entire body, mind, heart and soul.
I’ve been there. Twice.
One question my daughter asked me as I wiped her brow and held her hand was, why would I ever think of having two children? Or more accurately, after 24 hours of labor contractions and no sleep, why oh why would anyone ever consider having another baby after this?
I could have laughed it off and said, ‘Oh, I was just crazy.’ Or skirted the issue with, ‘Really it wasn’t all that bad’. Or lied with the tried and tired phrase, ‘Oh, once you see that beautiful baby, you’ll forget all the pain’. But that’s not me, I don’t lie to my children.
What did I say?
The simple answer is I knew I wanted two children, 3 years apart. And I thought my second birth process would be completely different than my first. That I’d do it better. That it would be easier. That because I’d been through it once, my experience would help. In most of the above, I was completely wrong.
But I did it anyway. Again why?
Again, simple answer is I wanted to be a mom. Because I wanted to love, teach, watch, and help make babies grow into strong, creative, amazing adult people.
And I wanted to do it better than my own childhood experience. I realize now that my desire to be a pre-school/kindergarten teacher and all my classes in education, development, nutrition and psychology were my way to learn better ways to parent.
But there are so many more equally true answers.
Life is precious. Each and every one, especially the ones you are privileged to bring into this crazy and chaotic world.
Life is an amazing mystery. From conception to birth, the process the human body goes through to merge two microscopic elements into ears, eyes, skin, body, bones, blood, veins, muscle and mind into a unique, original, individual person is nature’s biggest and most thrilling secret construction project.
Life is a miracle. Learning to see and feel and hear and touch. To kiss and walk and read and run and eat and sleep and make love is miraculous. Every day, each of us gets to breathe in new air, awaken our body, listen to our mind, hear new ideas and create with what we have in our lives on that day.
Some days it might be just putting one foot in front of their other. Swinging on a swing. Planting a flower. Throwing clay. Singing. Reporting the news. Teaching. Walking the dog.
And yes, life is also messy. There are many chills and spills and heart wrenching moments. But I think you’ll all agree it’s a roller coaster that, once we get on, most of us never want to get off.