I took this picture of Audrey this morning while I was having a moment. You know, those moments that are usually lost in the clutter of life. This morning, I stopped for a while and just watched her sleep. The only way I can begin to describe it is to tell you that it is like looking at waves, or stars, or clouds and becoming mesmerized. I was fixed, unable to take my eyes away.
I was overcome with gratitude. The immensity of it, the awe of it, the largeness and beauty of it causes my soul to fill to the brim. Sometimes, there are even moments, like this morning, that this gratitude gets so big it even gently rolls over the edges and marinates the space around me. I cannot contain it. My heart sometimes feels too small and too human for this extraordinary brand of love.
Most days aren’t filled with moments like these, they are filled with stuff to do, things to clean, errands to run, work to attend to, and I fit baby into these things. My life isn’t all romance and baby love. There are filthy dirty diapers, tantrums, food on the floor, sleepless nights, drool, budding teeth, all the messy adventures of the inaugural parenting year. I try not to become lost in these things, but I usually am.
But, today, I am grateful. The feeling of being a parent, of having a child, of belonging so intimately to someone, is deeper and stronger and scarier than anything I have experienced. It makes me feel more powerful than I’ve ever been and weaker than I thought possible. It destroys any barriers; even barriers that I put up with best friends and husband don’t exist with her. It is as pure and full as love can be. I do not think I knew the feeling of wanting to die for something, someone, until her. The feeling of possession and protection and purity. She’s not perfect, I realize this. But, she’s mine and I could never stop loving her.
Watching her discover the world helps me rediscover the world, to see things through the eyes of a child. I understand why Jesus was such a fan of children. They don’t have the baggage, the wounds, the tainted view that us adults have. They are trusting, unadultering versions of ourselves. They don’t have self-consciousness or pride or politics to worry about. They just want to love and be loved. I want to be more like my daughter. We spend all this time racing around, becoming mature, and then wishing we could be child-like again.
Today, right now, take a moment and recognize what makes you feel this grateful, peaceful, content. What is it? I would love to hear it, and you know who would love to hear about it, too? The One who gave it to you.