Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Arms

This week I have been keeping a friend's sweet baby while her normal sitter is on vacation. He is 10 months old and such a good baby.

This morning was a bit tough because I was having a hard time figuring out what he needed and he was a little fussy.

I stood up. I sat down. Inside. Outside. Bottle. No bottle. I tried everything and just couldn't get him happy for more than a few minutes.

And then it occurred to me.
It was so simple.
He wanted his mom.
Not me. Not Jeff. HIS MOM.

And I am not her.
I don't hold him the way she does.
I don't smell like she does.
My hair doesn't feel like hers.
My arms don't feel like her arms.
My voice can't soothe his sadness the way hers can.

So I did what any mother of 5 would do, I put him in the car and drove around until he went to sleep.
And as I sat in the car and listened to the soft sweet sounds that can only come from a sleeping baby, I thought about myself.

I wonder who gave me that comfort when I was 1 month, 6 months, 18 months?
I wonder what sounds or tangible items would soothe my cries?

Did I become so accustomed to the sterile surroundings of the orphanage that I was my only comfort?

Could this be why as a 42 year old woman I still long for more babies?
Could it be why I only want to sit and hold all of my children all day long?
And does the fact that as an infant/toddler I had no other human (to speak of) as my comfort have some basis for the issues I have now as an adult?

I wonder.

It is hard to imagine my mom bringing me - a untrusting strange child - home.
And I can't even begin to know or understand how she could never give up on growing me to love and trust her.
And the thought of the patience and unconditional love for a child that no one else wanted - well, that is just enough to send me over the edge.

So I can do this babysitting gig today and many other days.
I will make sure that this baby never ever feels scared or insecure.
Because his momma is coming for him.
And when she does - he will light up brighter than firecrackers on the 4th of July.
Because he - and every child - deserves to know who their people are in this world.