my heart, at three months: part two

Who could imagine that a 3-month old child could have such power to transform a 30+ year old adult. It goes beyond a greater willingness than I ever thought I had to give up sleep for the sake of savoring the moments you want to babble with me at 3:45AM. It goes beyond a willingness to settle for a messier home. It goes beyond new time constraints. It is so much more than these things.

You show me the wonder of everything I take for granted. I have never marveled at hands, feet, eyes, ears, and cheeks, like I marvel at yours. I never knew it could be so fascinating to peel a mandarin orange, take note of its citrus fragrance, and behold the act of peeling the pieces apart and popping them into one’s mouth. But it is fascinating, isn’t it! I never knew how curious and brilliant it was to have so many different cooking utensils to serve specific purposes. Absolutely brilliant!

I never knew I could feel a love so intense for another person. I have never desired the well-being of another person like I desire your well-being. I have never felt more protective, more amazed, more captivated, more hopeful, more fearful, than I feel towards you. I sense that you have the capacity to hurt me in a way that no one else can, and yet I find I am unable to build up the same protective walls that I might build towards other people in my life. I am incredibly vulnerable with you.

I feel more threatened by the world than ever. Disturbing cultural trends, bad drivers, boys, guns, germs, strangers, they all pose more threat than I ever felt before.

I feel more threatened by myself than ever. My temper, my selfishness, my lack of filter when I am tired, my weaknesses, my often frazzled ways. I am so afraid to hurt you, and it is terrifying and sobering to know that this is inevitable, to some degree.

You make me question everything I do, because I know you are watching me, and I know one day you will ask why one thing is important and not another. You will ask why I became angry, why I became sad, why I became so overjoyed, why I sacrificed one thing for another, why I do or don’t do certain things. You will know whether the things I preach with my lips are the same things I live out at home. You will want to know, and as a result, I need to know.

All of these things humble me before our loving, sovereign, merciful, intimate God in Heaven. I realize I can’t protect you, not fully, from the world, from myself. But you are loved that much more intensely by your perfect Father in Heaven who can bring good from evil, who can redeem the broken, and who always has your best in mind. I realize all the more that our hope is in our Savior who gives us forgiveness and healing for our sins and shortcomings, who helps us show grace when we hurt one another, who refines us and moves us forward in our growth. You make me so thankful for our Heavenly Father’s love for you and for me.

You are teaching me about love, wonder, forgiveness, integrity, truth, simplicity, intimacy, presence.

You are teaching me about God. 

my heart, at three months

You are three and a half months old, and I don’t know who is changing more, you or me.

You used to just stare at your toys as I pointed out colors and shapes and patterns. Now your hands reach for them, awkwardly but so intentionally. You are beginning to discover what your hands can do, and I see your desire to explore, to feel, to grasp, to hold. You are learning about your very self.

You used to live in just three states: asleep, awake and quiet, or crying. Then you began to smile, that gummy, curious smile, awakening to your own emotion and to relationship. Then you began to coo, and my heart was undone. You go back and forth between just a few vowel sounds but I am constantly fascinated by the range and depth of expression on your face, the movement of your eyebrows, your pauses between cooing as if you expect an appropriate response from me to what you are trying to say. And then came the day when we heard you laugh out loud for the first time. We were driving to a wedding and mama was being silly with you in the back seat, and you burst out laughing! Nothing else in the world could have impressed me more at that moment. You are developing emotional expression in relationship to me and your daddy, and nothing could be sweeter to mama than your young laughter.

You used to awaken every 3-4 hours to eat or to demand that we hold you. Now, you wake up once or twice at night to eat, but otherwise you sleep essentially from 7pm-7am. You are discovering how the world around you works, and you are developing a cycle in sync with your world.

From what I can tell, you are a mellow, go-with-the-flow, laid back personality. You are not overly excitable but you are content and sweet. You are an observer. You warm up to gentle personalities easily. I think you are an introvert, like your parents.

You are growing and changing so quickly, right before our eyes. How you are changing me, I have yet to fully process. But you are, and I am better for it. How is it that I went 30+ years living my life, and now I can hardly picture what that all was without you. Yes, you are changing me, and I am so much better for it.