I am one today.
Lately I've been feeling sympathetic towards babies. So much to learn so quickly. They shame us adults and our slowed pace of learning, and I can't help but wondering if humans would be able to fly if we continued to learn and grow at the rate of babies. As a mother, I feel painfully aware of my slow learning. As the babies are learning to walk, to eat, to use words, I am focusing on my own necessary new life skills. There are some things that mothers and babies come hard wired for. For babies, the ability to nurse. For mothers, overwhelming and intoxicating love.
And it is intoxicating, that love. It is beautiful and wild and scary. It is the rawest thing I have ever experienced, trying to walk through the world with composure as I carry in my hand the most vulnerable, the most delicate, the most screaming and hysterical and brazen emotion - love for my babies.
I try to smooth out the edges. Try to believe that with a warm, clean house and successful nap times and nutritious meals, this thing, this love, will not upend me or knock me down with its magnificence. How do mothers walk through the world? How do we not take over and make the world what we need it to be for our children? How are we not overwhelmed by the amazing beauty of everything wonderful - mountains and oceans and sunsets and big trees with strong branches, deep midnight skies that would swallow you whole if it weren't for a thousand bright stars, warm sun on your back and a cool breeze against your face, first kisses, first crushes, first loves. How do we contain ourselves in the face of all things terrible that threaten our children? How do we not march ourselves out there, grab all the bad things by the scruff of the neck, and use that rawness to make things right in every way we know how?
As the babies are learning to maneuver through the world, I struggle to keep pace in my learning as a mother. I work to be as gentle and tolerant with myself as I am with them. I try to shake off the fear that I will fail them and walk confidently, knowing that my crazy love is the only guidepost I need.
The babies are starting to let go when they walk. They are so brave. They've never walked before. They don't know what will happen. But they do it again and again. Sometimes they fall. They get up. Again and again. I am inspired.
I will walk confidently. I will hold this amazing love proudly and strongly, and I will trust myself, knowing I am the mother they need.