Almost four months ago I had a baby… (I am using this as an excuse as to why I can’t keep up with this blog. Yeah, it’s not convincing me either.)
Anyway, four months ago I had a baby. We had dreamed of what she would be like and what parenthood would be like for nine months. I had my nursery all ready, the bassinet waiting by my bed and a pretty clear picture in my head of what motherhood looked like. It was a beautiful picture.
Then, we got her home.
(It really started before we got home as she screamed in the car on the way home from the hospital.)
My clear picture of motherhood never included a bad case of Jaundice, mastitis, baby tummy issues (please read: endless screaming), her never sleeping- ever (please read:no one ever sleeping, ever), post partum blues… nor had anyone warned me! In the first month of her life we emphatically said, “We are never doing this again.”
Then, we noticed something beautiful was happening. Community started seeping in through the cracks in our lives. Whether blood related family or spiritually related family, they made us food, cleaned our house, popped up with a text or a message on Facebook, and prayed many prayers on our behalf. Some of them took my crying baby and let me eat, or listen to a Sunday School lesson or a sermon, or just take a nap. They shared their own stories and encouraged me to get through mine. They gave advice and hugs and I never expected to need these relationships so much.
I’ll be honest with you, I suck at community (and my mom would yell at me for using that “s”word). I haven’t done a very good job with empathy or encouragement through the years. And that I regret. Especially now that I realize the difference it makes, or it can make every day in the lives of those who are struggling. I am guilty of keeping it at a smile and a handshake. But, there are real people around me with real souls and real joys and sorrows.
I’m sorry if you could have used an encouraging word or a hug or a prayer from me and I just warmly smiled, shook your hand and walked away.
Now, I’m teaching myself to look and think, “How am I able to seep through the cracks and shed some light on their dark days?”
To the Community of caring individuals who helped us get through rough times and rejoiced with us through milestones and happy times, just being there has been both healing and humbling. It has taught this girl that we need each other it’s time to start doing my part.
For Two are better than one.