This weird thing happened the other day. My baby turned 8 months old. How does that happen? I can't even begin to describe just how much that little 17 pound smiley chatterbox has taught me in the 16ish months she has been in existence (yes, that's counting pregnancy).
Around the time she turned 6 months we started her on cereal and pureed veggies. It didn't take long for her to grab the spoon and for me to wonder if she'd be ready to try larger pieces of soft food. We did pears, if I remember right. She did great. I was a nervous wreck. A worrier by nature, all the "what ifs" raced through my mind. The biggest fear - her choking. So my fingers hovered very near (and sometimes in) her mouth, ready to scoop that pear out should it threaten to choke my baby. It didn't. And I came to an important realization. I can't keep her from growing up. I know that seems obvious. But to a new mom this is quite the epiphany. Yes, I need to be her mom and keep her safe and protect her, but I also need to realize when she's legitimately ready for something and let her try. I can't and shouldn't keep her from doing things, trying things, exploring things - as long as those things are smart and safe. I don't want to hold her back because I'm not ready for her to be ready. Ah, parenting.
So that's the back story to what follows - maybe you're a parent and can relate. Maybe you know a parent who can relate. Maybe your mom is still like this with you... hopefully not! Either way, I hope you enjoy.
My Mommy Heart
For you, dear child, I waited
Seemed an eternity.
At times I thought you’d never come;
“Mom” wasn’t meant for me.
But God had other plans for us
Finally the time was right.
When we learned you were coming,
Oh, you were our delight.
My mommy heart, it felt so ready.
You joined us slightly early
Such a tiny little one
Your Dad and I had tons to learn
The fun had just begun!
The diapers, bottles, bath times,
“Are we doing all this right?”
The struggles we had nursing
During endless, sleepless nights
My mommy heart was not quite ready.
I suppose I didn’t get it yet,
Didn’t fully understand,
Just how tight you’d hold my heart
In your tiny little hand
You’re just so independent
For such a little baby
You play, you sit, you roll around;
You’ll be crawling next week, maybe
My mommy heart is getting ready.
Because that day you reached out for
And grabbed that yellow spoon,
I cried a little deep inside
Knowing you’ll be grown so soon.
First the spoon and then the pears
And I got in your way
Because you make me nervous.
But I realized that day
My mommy heart has to be ready.
I can’t keep you from growing;
Can’t keep getting in your way
I have to let you try and fall,
And give you space to play
And to explore, cause if you don’t
You’ll miss out on so much.
So much in life to do and see
You don’t need a mommy crutch.
But my mommy heart’s not ready.
And it likely never will be,
But I promise you I’ll try.
With God and Daddy helping me
I’ll help you learn to fly.
So I’ll try not to hover much
And worry a little less.
And I promise you I’ll be there
When life becomes a mess.
My mommy heart, it will be ready.
But until then, my dear baby,
Whether you have joys or struggles,
You can always count on Mommy
To be there with cuddly snuggles.
So I’ll rock you all through nap time
As the laundry sits in piles,
Because you’ll only be this small
For such a little while.
I’ll hold you ‘til my arms hurt
And come running when you cry.
For these days, they may be long right now
But the years will fly on by.
And my Mommy heart wants to be ready.