When my first baby was born, my world cracked open and turned on its head. A river came rushing out of the seams of my life, explosive and consuming, a love with such force it couldn’t possibly be contained. The memory of those days is still fresh. That girl, that new mother, is still with me. But that baby boy? Where is he?
Now I listen to my boy, who will be five years-old in the spring, as he reasons with me about nature and cause-and-effect. I see the beginnings of the man he will one day become, but that little hand- the one that smacks his forehead as he bends over in laughter-is the same baby hand that laid drowsily on my breast as he nursed to sleep one thousand nights. I dare to wonder in the still, quiet moments . . . “where has that baby gone?” For the boy I so love today, the vivacious four year-old who loves macaroni and Curious George and Grammy’s house, will one day wane and an older boy will once again take his place. Some days now I hold that four year-old in my lap and search his eyes and think . . . “are you still in there??”
My boy plays with a length of black rope on the living room floor. He makes knots and creates traps for imaginary things- animals or villains, I couldn’t tell you. He is smart and beautiful, the unusual combination of blonde curls and brown eyes. Today, not unlike any other day, he sings as he plays. But today he sings something that pierces through the laundry and the dishes, the every day. My eyes sting with tears as I tip-toe forward to listen, to make sure.
And yes, he sings the song I sang to him as a baby, all of those nights when the rocking chair kept time with hushed lyrics by moonlight:
“Be still, my soul. Be still and know that I am God.
Rest quietly. Rest in His loving arms
For He is watching over you
ever faithful, ever true . . . “
I hold an outgrown onesie in my hand, still warm from the laundry basket, as I listen to him sing. It hangs loosely from my hand, my fingers rubbing threads of cotton. That love, that rushing river flows over me like an amazing grace. That baby I love hasn’t left the boy, rather he has become a piece of the foundation. He is love and light and joy.
Today, he is even singing.
I have a brown eyed blond little boy, too – only not so little. He will be 12 in January. I still see glimpses of the baby, the toddler, the young boy… and sometimes it stills my heart. How I love him.
Thanks Erin, I’m fighting back tears while sitting in the play area at the mall while my three year old son plays. I don’t want the other parents to think I’m crazy, but your post really touched my heart. Sometimes I look at my 24 year old daughter and wonder where the little girl went. You summed it up so beautifully!
This was so touching, thank you so much for sharing. Our babies grow up in the blink of an eye. It’s a beautiful thing to plant those seeds of faith like with the lullaby and now you are seeing the faith grow. Those sweet words you sang to him, God’s words, will be “a lamp unto his feet and a light unto his path” for years to come and it’s breathtaking that he has internalized those words. I love when we get a little encouragement that we’re on the right path when raising our children. Pure grace, when I feel like I’ve failed so many time! My three year old just told me this today while we were driving to the grocery store, “I want to be a disciple, you know, like one of Jesus’ friends. That means that I need to be kind to my brother and share my toys, right?” 🙂
Me too. My oldest boy is nearly 3, and my youngest boy is nearly 18 months. I’m drinking in every moment of their babyhood. Because it is disappearing all too fast. I hope I can still see it in them when they are men.
I sometimes think I am the only mother so nostalgic for those babies. My oldest is six and my youngest is two. It is a good age span to remind you to savor the moments, because 6 is very different from 2. They are so independent, with such will. Where did those babies go? You brought tears to my eyes with these words. Thank you. http://www.jenningsbaby.blogspot.com
Have been reading your blogs for a long time now. They are most beautiful.
since I moved I have not seen a post for 2015? I Pray you and all your Loved ones are safe.
Where are you Erin? I’ve missed your posts. Are you just so busy with two little kids and not writing any more? Completely understand if that’s the case, just thought I’d reach out to say I check in occasionally and love your work.
Hi Erin – I’m missing your posts! Hope all is well with you and your family.