Home > General Updates > Gifts from my son

Gifts from my son

One year ago Bennett came screaming into our lives. He is a loving, sweet, caring, passionate, joyful, ornery, playful and mischievous soul that has blessed us since the day we found out we were pregnant.

Our first picture together.

Here are a few of the lessons I’m reflecting on today:

Let go and see what happens.
Bennett has taught me that narrowing life by trying to control it limits the opportunity for a new experience. There are some things I have no power over. Knowing my boundaries and discovering those limits has been an evolutionary project. Seeing him is a daily reminder of the gifts that can come by allowing the universe to unfold and offer its blessings.

Physical beauty is a fluid concept.
I have learned that stretch marks and flabby skin are trophies to be cherished. This body hosted and gave birth to life. So, you don’t get to ask me if I’ve lost all my baby weight yet and you don’t get to criticize the extra 10 pounds I can’t seem to shake.

Don’t judge others.
Parents want what’s best for their children. Sometimes we make decisions based on our circumstances. Maybe it wouldn’t be the choice you would make, but unless it puts the child at risk, BACK OFF.

When you’re a parent everyone knows what’s best for your child. Nurse for at least six months. Make sure to take off your crib bumpers. Are you sure you want to feed him that? Bottom line, it sucks to be judged and it usually says more about the judger’s inadequacies than your own.

I’m just as guilty of this as the next person, but having Bennett has taught me that it’s best (and a lot easier) to live your own life and mind your business.

I need to work, but it’s not the most important thing.
When I was finishing up my maternity leave I had several people tell me that they could never leave their child to be “raised” by someone else. A relative even told me that, “I think anyone could stay home if they really want to.”

Look, leaving Bennett on the first day of day care was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I had TREMENDOUS guilt and fear. But, you know what, it was the absolute BEST thing I could have ever done for him. He has blossomed in day care and he’s adored by all his providers. He gets kisses and hugs from a bunch of people every day. Having a lot of people love my child is the best thing I could ever hope for.

Plus, I need to work. Maternity leave was terrific and I wouldn’t change that for the world, but I need to be in a productive adult world. Having Bennett taught me that I can be a good working mother and that it’s OK to be a professional woman.

As I said before, I think women should make their own decision about what’s best for them and their child. Working or not working is a personal choice and women should be free to make it without fear of being labeled “selfish” or a “bad mother.”

Life is a fragile miracle.
There was a time when the small flicker on an ultrasound screen made me weep. Then there was the time that an 18 week fetus kicked with all his might to reassure his mother that, despite debilitating pain and hospitalization, everything would be OK.

 At birth, Bennett slept calmly as doctors and nurses furiously scrambled to stop my bleeding. He came out screaming, letting everyone know that despite the presence of meconium, he was just fine. At 8 weeks, he screamed again, this time to show us that he was alive and furious after aspirating due to severe reflux.

Over the last two years, Bennett and I have split hairs on the line between life and death. We are both here and we are both healthy. That is a sacred gift that we celebrate every day.

My life has purpose.
Having Bennett has reminded me that life’s “purpose” is found in our relationships with others. When we fully embrace the vulnerability of loving and being loved in return, our life has meaning and we will feel richly blessed.

I am blessed.
We chose Bennett’s name because it means “blessed” and it perfectly describes the life that we live with him. Of course, we are graced by his presence, but it is also a reminder of how lucky Greg and I are to have a loving marriage and the support of our friends and families.

We did not have a typical journey to parenthood. It took two and a half very long years to conceive and it was a very difficult pregnancy and first year of parenting. The love that we received has shown me the goodness in others and the significance a small act of kindness can have to someone. I feel so truly grateful and humbly and completely blessed.

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  1. August 4, 2011 at 11:08 am

    love this and you

  2. August 4, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Right back at you sweet friend 🙂

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