Category Archives: Little Bear

Taxing Times

April 15. The date marks tax day for Americans and is in no way a holiday people look forward to. Nobody I know likes taxes. It always seems like we are “paying” so much for so little in return. And the forms! Yuck, yuck, yuck.

I am feeling taxed today, not just because of contributions to state and federal coffers but also because I am tired. As a new mom, I can honestly say this is one of the most “taxing” jobs I’ve ever had. I don’t know where they find those perky, put-together moms for those baby products commercials. I certainly would not win the casting call, that’s for sure!

In my experience, albeit limited, being a mom is hard work. Obviously the lack of sleep is an issue, but there are other things that take a toll, too. I look and feel like a mess and the demands are nearly constant. My normal clothes don’t fit right yet and my maternity things don’t fit right anymore. I nearly always sport spots of spit up, and by evening I often reek of sour milk. And like Larry the Cucumber, I don’t seem to even find my hairbrush some days!

Though I am feeling taxed today, I can honestly say I don’t mind paying my dues. In fact, I wouldn’t trade being a mom for anything. Amidst the slobber and the stink are the smiles and snuggles. With the gooeyness comes the goo-goos. With the cacophony come the caresses. And with the exhaustion comes the exhilaration.

So on this April 15th, when my reserves are low from being so taxed, I am fulfilled and thankful for the little blessing that consumes my days and nights. One day too soon I am sure I will be missing these times, so I am choosing to treasure each blessed moment—even the messy, stinky, and sleepless ones.

NOTE: Thank goodness for my husband who provides relief in the evenings so I can get things done like washing dishes, folding clothes, and taking a shower! And hats off to the parents who find themselves raising a child, or children, alone. May God bless you with a double portion of energy and patience.

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Making Memories and Breaking Molds

Last week Little Bear met her cousin, S, for the first time. They are just a week apart in age, so it was fun to compare similarities and differences. But the actual interactions between the two turned out to be anticlimactic.

I don’t know why, but I expected the two to bond through smiles and coos. Well, that didn’t happen. First, they are on totally different internal clocks. When one was happy, the other was cranky. When one was awake, the other was sleepy or sleeping. When the two were finally put together on a play mat, one was trying to touch the other while the other was trying to push the first away. Finally, the moms held the babies face to face (a few inches apart, of course) to let them see each other. Wow! Did the personalities ever shine through.

During the face-to-face meeting, S was leaning forward with wide eyes trying to get closer to Little Bear. Little Bear, on the other hand, leaned back into me, literally put her arms across her chest, and pulled her chin into her neck. Can we say introvert? And can you guess which one was which in the paragraph above?

It is my hope that Little Bear will be great friends with S and her other cousins. I remember first becoming acquainted with my cousins, Jen, Lin, and Matt. Between the three of them and my two sisters and I, we were like stair steps in age. I looked forward to the times we could be together; and now I have fond and not-so-fond memories of things like road trips in a Volvo station wagon, clear shower curtains, prickly pear cacti, “chocolate” tapioca, and buckets of mud. Oh, and a silly song about some guy with whiskers on his chin.

I know that Little Bear will likely have to work at overcoming tendencies toward being shy. After all, her daddy and her mommy had to do so and at least I still struggle with it at times. We are purposely keeping Little Bear isolated for the first three months to allow time for her immune system to become a little more mature. After that, it is time to take her out and introduce her to church, classes, library story times, and play experiences.

Do you have any suggestions for gently socializing introverts? If so, please comment below. I am open to ideas.

Laughing at the Impossible

Little Bear’s Bible lesson for class at church is about Abraham and Sarah. Well, it especially focuses on Sarah. In very simple language it tells the story of how Sarah wanted a baby and was so sad she couldn’t conceive. One day Abraham met three travelers and invited them home for a meal. In the course of their discussion, one of the visitors said he’d be back in a year and Sarah would have a baby. Sarah laughed. She had overheard the conversation, and she laughed.

It struck me as I was reading the story to Little Bear that I could completely relate to Sarah. I had always identified more with Hannah. She did not have a child of her own and she was heartsick–depressed, even. But she continued to pray and ask God for a child. Sarah, on the other hand, apparently had given up hope as the years passed. She was heartbroken but resigned.

From my earliest memories of playing “house,” I always wanted to be a mommy. I had hoped that dream would come true after I got married. But as each month passed and as one year led into another, my dream began to fade and my hope began to falter. Like Hannah, I would tearfully pour out my heart to God. Why couldn’t I have a baby? Finally, after having visited with specialists and trying all kinds of interventions over the course of a few years, I gave up.

Shortly after accepting the fact that I would likely not have a child, I found out I was pregnant. Impossible! Yet, it was true. I was designated AMA (advanced maternal age), but I was pregnant. There were complications along the way, but I was pregnant. I. Was. Pregnant.

When Sarah found out she was with child, I can imagine her wonder. After all that time and despite her age, God gave her a son. Sarah had sarcastically laughed at the idea of her pregnancy. She laughed again when she realized the promise of the Lord had been fulfilled.  Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.'” Genesis 21:6

God healed Sarah’s broken heart and filled her empty arms. He did the same for Hannah. He did the same for me. And like Sarah, I laughed.

He will fill your mouth with laughter
and your lips with happy shouting.
Job 8:21