Note: I started writing this last Saturday and am only now getting to finish it.
I am typing at least part of this post with one hand. With my other arm I hold my 3-week-old son. His beautiful blue eyes are getting heavy as he inches closer to sleep. He just spit out the binky - let's see if he is awake enough to notice...so far, so good.
It's amazing to me how much life has changed in the last 3 weeks. Of course we knew our lives would be turned upside down by adding a kiddo to our ranks (spitting out the binky made him wake up a bit more - he's staring at me, and he's so cute!!), but we had no idea what that would look like.
Now I know infinitely more than I did 4 weeks ago, and I am also painfully aware of my ignorance (he wanted the binky back in, but he's still gazing at me with those precious eyes). Becoming a mom has taught me so much already, and one of the biggest lessons has been to feel my helplessness more deeply and painfully than ever before. There are so many things that I cannot control - how my child eats, how long he sleeps, and how many diapers I have to change are 3 things that come to mind right away.
Also, this being a mom thing has really challenged the side of me that loves to plan. Believe it or not, Levi is not always a fan of my to-do lists. I foolishly plan out how I would like my days to go, only to have my plan hijacked 6 seconds later. Redefining "productive" has been a challenge for me. It's tough to not measure the success of a day by how many items were checked off the to-do list. Forcing myself to not dwell on unfinished projects is tremendously difficult (like a blog post in process), and I am working on not letting the undone rob me of my peace.
But feeling my helplessness, re-thinking productivity, letting go of my to-do lists, and caring for this child have forced me to pray and pray and pray and pray. That's a good thing. The more I learn, the less I know, and the harder I cry out for wisdom. Just as nothing could have prepared me for the craziness a newborn introduces to life, no one could have prepared me for the love I feel toward this tiny person and the fierce desire to guard this child with every fiber of my being.
When we were in the hospital the first night I held Levi and thought to myself, "I love this child so much. I never want anything bad to happen to him." Then my mind began to swirl with all the bad things that could happen to him in his life. I began to panic...and then pray. And I keep praying.
So naturally, at Thanksgiving our thoughts were on Levi and how thankful we are for him. We are thankful he is here as part of our family, but I am also thankful for what I have learned and how I have grown in the the few short weeks since he was born. And I am thankful that this process will continue for years to come.