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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Loving My Baby Is My Perfect Expression

I know I’m not the only one who sometimes needs someone to hold on to.  Having my baby Canyon in my arms, rocking him to sleep, playing, giggling, comforting him when he’s hurt, all these experiences literally change me physically.  I can feel it.  A part of me grows and stretches yet also feels secure, validated and incredibly loved. 

Sometimes I feel expressions of joy and gratitude to such an extent that I actually need a baby to kiss.  There is this desire to express myself through loving and taking care of him.  Mothering him is my expression.  His perfect head has received too many kisses to count.  His little body, the way he wraps it around my hips when I jolt out the door, how he fits so perfectly into my arms like a jockey ridding a rickety horse, I just love every minute of it. 

He has started kissing me and those kisses are full of drool, but also an innocent passion.  He loves me without words, only through actions.  He kisses me with eyes wide open, his little pouty breath warming my cheeks and we lock lips.  I tend to be a worrier, a bit scatter-brained, overly optimistic, have high expectations of myself, am task minded and on and on.  This little baby makes me be present, grateful and focused on giant moments of split-second heart-warming experiences. 

He’s a baby.  My baby.  I paid such a price for him.  At first, I didn’t think I could take on such a task of another baby, and here’s what I have to say to anyone considering an abortion, please hang on.  I promise, with all the complications and personal obstacles, with all the work and uncertainty, to get one of those kisses from my baby I paid such a high price for, it is worth it.  Even as he sleeps, I watch and wait, ready for more of everything he has to offer.  From his articulate baby babble to the primal way he needs me, if my arms were empty I would be searching my entire life to fill them with something meaningful.  A baby is impossible to replace.

Don’t let the world tell you anything is more important than your baby.  I’ve had more help with this baby than any of my other children.  People step up.  I could never do it alone.  I have teenagers and a baby and everything between. Raising teenagers while raising a baby is like steering a ship while piloting a plane, but each child plays a critical, perfect role in our family.

My husband and my kids are the number one reason this baby is so happy and well-adjusted.  They are constantly reaching out to him.  Each has there own “special”games, songs and experiences.  I could never provide the education, life lessons and personal development to my older kids the way this baby does.  

He’s our family’s peacemaker.  We all strive to be better and do more because of him.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I wondered what type of child I would have, how I would learn and grow from such a life-changing experience.  At times, I was discouraged and didn't see how it would all work out.  I’ve read, re-read and loved Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  If you have not read these books, you need to.  They are so rich with enormous wisdom and highly entertaining.  I have been listening to their on-line lectures and a theme I’m finding is in order to grow, you have to get out of your comfort zone.

I can’t travel to Italy, India and Indonesia.  I can’t hike the Pacific Crest Trail.  Little did I know having Canyon would be my 1,200 mile hike and my year-long international travel.   Canyon would push me out of my comfort zone.

My baby is my Mt. Everest, with all the training, dreams, set-backs, visions, occasional oxygen mask and life-changing accomplishment that comes with it.  At the peak, he is my beautiful view of the world of the world, my breath-taking scenery and the wind blowing through my hair.  He is my PhD, my higher education and confirmed thesis. 

The world tries to convince women they can only do one or the other. Since I’ve had this baby, I’ve written a memoir, taken charge of my health, gone cliff-jumping, signed up for comedy/improv classes and more.  I did not have to choose between my baby and other experiences life has to offer.  I can do both.

A baby is worth it.  A living, breathing, one-of-a-kind baby is more dynamic and diverse than any experience the world has to offer.  My baby makes me better.  My baby is my beautiful teacher.  My baby smiles and I have seen heaven.  When we dance, when we cuddle, when he toddles towards me with an open picture book I feel a love that expands the cells in my body.  Breathing reminds me I’m having a physical experience, but the love I feel insists the experience is much, much bigger.  

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