April 11, 2010: The Best Job in the World

“But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

I have the world’s best job.

I feel like the last 10 years have been a blur. I graduated from high school and never looked back. I wanted to see everything, do everything, be everything. And I did. I have a few regrets, but mostly I accomplished what I set out to. I learned a lot and met a lot of interesting people along the way. I stretched and grew as a person, shedding my grade school image and becoming a more confident and well-rounded person.

And then I became a mother.

My life came to a grinding halt. Then it began again so slowly that I wondered if I was making any progress at all. All my insecurities resurfaced again. Who am I now? What should I be doing?

My mom always said to give any major life change at least six months. And about the time Naomi reached six months, the last of the fog began to clear from my new life. I’m finally really beginning to appreciate the new slow pace of my life, and get the hang of having Naomi in it.

Naomi and I have very full days, even at their slow pace. Bath time is one of our favorite times of the day. We take a long shower and then sit in the tub afterward, playing with the tub toys, pouring water out of cups, and splashing with our hands and feet. Naomi loves getting out of the tub almost as much as getting in, and shrieks when I lay her on her bath towel to dry her off. Then she climbs around the room in just her diaper, pulling herself up on drawers, window sills, and cabinets.

She also loves to nurse and to sleep. When she first wakes up each morning, Brad gets her from the nursery and brings her to our big bed. She nurses next to me, and then falls asleep again, safe between her two favorite people. I love to look at her and her Daddy then, both sound asleep, warm together under the covers. Then I carry her back to her crib, her heavy body limp in my arms, her head lolling against my shoulder in sleep.

One of Naomi’s new favorite activities, now that the weather is warm, is going outside. There are all sorts of new sensations available outside. She loves riding on my hip as we walk out to get the mail, or sitting on the porch swing and watching the cars go by. The park is full of interesting things, but the swing is by far the best. She loves the rocking motion, and looks at everything. She also loves the teeter-totter (see-saw), and actively trying to put every woodchip, rock, or grass into her mouth.

Many people would find our activities around the house boring. We build with legos, but mostly she just chews on them. We read books, but mostly she chews on them too. We push the buttons on noise-making toys. We wave at the mirror. We look out the window. We laugh at Daddy. She pulls the books and DVDs off the shelves, and I put them back again. We try new foods, and I am thrilled when she likes a new one or eats off a spoon without fighting me. She pulls clean clothes off the drying rack, pulls pots and pans out of the cupboards, opens and closes doors and cabinets, and opens and closes the printer tray for fun.

Naomi reminds me to be thankful for the things I take for granted, like clapping, waving, crawling, standing, and cruising. She notices the little things, leaning her head from side to side, looking for someone who’s left the room, or studying the buttons and zippers on my clothing. She notices everyone, from the familiar to the stranger, from the old to the young. She notices everything from the trees in our yard to the socks on her feet. And she loves to laugh…at funny expressions, surprises, noisy toys, soft stuffed animals, the feel of Mommy’s hair, or the delight of riding high on Daddy’s shoulders.

These days, when I walk somewhere, I try to remember to take Naomi’s hands in mine, and let her walk with me between my legs. She’s good at cruising from side to side on the furniture, but she’s just learning to put one foot in front of the other for walking. It’s a lot slower going this way, and it would be a lot faster to just pick her up and go. But I’m trying to learn to slow down and enjoy Naomi, living in the here and now, being present in the present. It’s not the life I’ve grown accustomed to over the past 10 years, but it’s good.

Because being her mom is the best job in the world.

Jess

“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” James 5:7-8

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