Oh hello, 6 month old — when the heck did that happen?? I took a brief break from my “3 Things Learned…” posts, but couldn’t pass up this milestone and opportunity to share a few thoughts as Benjamin hits half a year.
1. Prepare to transform into an obnoxiously enthusiastic cheerleader. Who knew that rolling over, burping, or swatting at random objects could be actions deserving of such high praise? I’ll be honest and say that, prior to joining the parent club, whenever I witnessed a proud mommy gushing over the fact that her precious little cherub accomplished some fantastic feat such as turning 180 degrees on the axis of his belly, I would often do my best Stanley Hudson “not impressed” face:
But now that I have a little nugget of my own, I have to admit — I get pretty pumped whenever he does something new. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not so much a my-child-is-God’s-gift-to-this-world-and-aren’t-you-oh-so-lucky-to-be-in-his-presence mentality, but rather a holy-cow-this-kid-wasn’t-here-6-months-ago-and-he’s-changing-so-much-can-you-believe-how-much-of-a-miracle-human-life-is mentality. Add to that the fact that Ben himself always acts pleasantly surprised whenever he does something new and, well, it’s just pretty cute.
But regardless of pure motives, it is still pretty obnoxious, and I know this because I found a video on my phone of Ben when he was only a few weeks old. He was on his belly and barely — I mean barely — lifting his head off the ground. And all you can hear is his mommy in the background saying, “Go, Ben, GO! Good job you’re so AWESOME! YAY, BEN, YAAAAAAAY!!!!!!” Yeah. Oh well — not going to apologize.
2. Either learn to laugh at yourself or accept that you’ll be crying a lot. You know what I’m talking about: those days when it’s not even 8 am yet and you already smell like regurgitated milk. Or when you’re happily playing with your kiddo and suddenly realize the entire front of your shirt is now a nice shade of yellow/brown. Or when the moment — yes, the moment — that you strap on a new, dry diaper, a painfully long “thpppppptt” and a silly, gummy grin signify the arrival of yet another fiesta explosion. Or when you roll through the drive-thru and realize you just ordered your food in a sing-songy-rhymy voice and there’s not even a kid with you. Or when you finally get to the cash register with a crabby baby and realize — yep — you left your wallet at home:
Don’t get me wrong — I’m all for having a good cry every now and again. But there’s also something incredibly therapeutic about just admitting, “You know what — this day was ridiculous and kind of got away from me, and I’m still not entirely sure what happened but let’s just briefly relive it, laugh, and then thank the Lord that it’s over.” Reminding myself that Ben is in fact only a baby and is not maliciously plotting to take me out (I don’t think…) helps me to chuckle and then just move on. I’ve also really enjoyed writing down the silly/exhausting/ridiculous things that have happened so that I can go back and remember. Things are often much funnier when some time has gone by and eased the sting of the initial moment.
3. Life is miraculous. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that we have become callous to this self-evident truth. It’s hard for me to comprehend how one could argue the non-existence of an Intelligent Designer when faced with the wonder of life. The process of conception, pregnancy, labor, and delivery should be reason enough to at least consider the possibility that we are not an accident. When you consider the transition a baby makes from the womb out into the world, it’s just absolutely astounding.
Sometimes I find myself just sitting and marveling at Ben as his fingers explore his toys, or as he grins when he sees that baby staring back in the mirror. He’s mimicking sounds and scooting across the room on the floor. He makes it very clear when he’s hungry. He rubs his eyes when he’s tired. He giggles when his dad tickles his neck. He’s a fully functioning person. Fearfully and absolutely wonderfully made. How can this be?
I took physiology my sophomore year of college. Whenever readings were assigned, I usually just skimmed the chapters to pick out the most important information for quizzes and tests. However, when we got to the chapter on the reproductive system, it was the only chapter in the book that I read in its entirety. I remember devouring the information and thinking, how great is our God!
Scripture is so very clear on the miracle of life, but even without looking at the Bible — even if you whip out an old physiology text book — the evidence tells us that humans are intricate, complicated, and miraculous — from the moment of conception until the moment we breathe our last.
As I watch Benjamin, my nephews, and hopefully my future children grow, I hope I never stop wondering at the unspeakable miracle of life that whispers — no, shouts — the name of our Creator.
Here’s to acknowledging and marveling at the miracle of life — one little milestone at a time.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
– Psalm 139:13,14 –