Babies

by JessawhyBaby

When I was young, the word “babies” gave me the creeps. Not just a little chill up my spine, but  I want to crawl behind the couch, creeps.  I have no idea what it was about that word, but I really disliked it.  Perhaps I always knew I wasn’t drawn to the nurturing, mothering role, which makes sense because I never liked playing house either.

Babies mean much more to me now, as a mother. I have three beautiful children, of the sweet and sour variety.  Sometimes I think they’re bipolar. One minute they are throwing toys, tantrums and toast, while the next minute they are kissing, cuddling, and cute.  Regardless, most of my time is spent with my three boys, ages 7, 3, and 1.

My smallest baby has a blue, snot-stained, fuzzy blanket/bear, called “Bear” for short, that he carries EVERYWHERE. It’s his lovey, and when operated alongside the thumb in mouth, spell contentment for our little guy.  No matter where we are, Bear will calm or thrill baby Finn in an instant.

So, imagine my surprise a few weeks ago when Finn, who at nearly two is now beginning to talk, starts to call his bear, “Baby.”  It melted my heart. He is so attached to his baby. It is the first thing he sees in the morning and the last thing he sees at night. He kisses and hugs it, and sings to it and snuggles it all day long.  And he named it “Baby” without even a suggestion from us.

Watching my baby love this little piece of fabric has given me new insight into the love I have for my own children, and the love God has for me.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that this most recent revelation of cuteness is a direct message from God to me because of the last few difficult months of parenting.

Here’s what I think God is saying, or at least what I’m hearing from this message about babies.

1. It’s not about who is there; mother or father, it’s about the amount of love and time we give our children.

2. Babies are hard, of course they’re hard and from my experience, they just get harder, so take the good moments and cherish them (write them down!).

3. Everybody is born with some nurturing abilities (even my child who throw trains at his brother’s heads) and we should encourage them in boys and girls. This also means we should admire and recognize good fathers as often was we can.

4. God loves us because he puts people here to help comfort us, make us laugh, hug us, and just help us know that we are not alone in the world.

Yep, I learned this all from a little blankie bear and his baby.

Jessawhy

Jessawhy is a wife, mother, community volunteer, activist and student. She is currently working towards a Physician Assistant degree.

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9 Responses

  1. Kim B. says:

    Thank you.

  2. James says:

    What a nice post. I don’t have any particularly insightful comments to add, but as an observation, I’ve been struck with how much I’ve learned about my heavenly parents through becoming an earthly parent through seemingly small experiences similar to what you describe. Thanks for touching on this theme!

  3. FoxyJ says:

    My little boy is almost 3 1/2 and I love to watch him take care of his stuffed animal ‘friends’. I agree that we need to encourage all children to develop their abilities to nurture and to have compassion for others. I cringe when I see parents discourage this kind of behavior, especially in little boys. And I’ve even seen mothers discourage fathers from nurturing their children. On Friday my little boy tripped and gashed his head on the corner of a wall; my husband works at home and was willing to help me take him in to Urgent Care for stitches. I was totally willing to sit with my son while he was getting his head sewn up, but my husband took over and was really sweet with his son. This wasn’t new behavior for my husband, he’s pretty comfortable with nurturing, but I realized that it is good for him and our children to have these kinds of opportunities.

    Along those lines, this post made me think about priesthood blessings as opportunities for fathers to nurture their family members. I didn’t grow up with an active father and my husband is not active, so I’m not very familiar with a home that has the priesthood administered by a family member. But it seems to me that if a father has a good relationship with his children, administering ordinances can be an opportunity to express that love in a nurturing way. I think it would have to work that way and not the other way around though.

  4. Jessawhy says:

    James,
    Thanks for your kind comments. I totally agree that being a parent has given me an insight into our relationship with God. Sometimes I feel peace, like when I wrote this post. Other times, I feel pain, like when I think about a Heavenly Mother that is not seen or heard. . .
    That’s why I like to think about God as a perfect whole of two halves, a Father and Mother. It’s hard to think that way, but I manage sometimes.

    FoxyJ,
    I hadn’t thought about parents discouraging boys from nurturing, but I know some parents are really concerned about their boys doing “girly” things which could be nurturing. That makes me sad, but I guess it’s hard for me to know since I have all boys. Everything they do seems boy to me, never girly. Perhaps if they had a sister it would be different.

    I’m glad your husband took your son to the Urgent Care. It’s important for parents to take turns handling crises.
    I hadn’t thought about priesthood blessings as a kind of nurturing. I wish that was the kind of tone in the Elder’s Quorum lessons. During the blessings I’ve been privy to, I feel like there’s an emphasis on procedure, not necessarily content. I’ve seen a lot of worry go into the clothing of the priesthood bearer, the exact language used, the kind of oil, etc. I really like the idea of using the priesthood to nurture.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. Gaia says:

    I love your insights, Jess.

    I’ve gone through a similar metamorphosis. Babies were actually distasteful to me as a teen and into my twenties. I had no desire to touch or look at them. They didn’t even seem cute to me.

    Now that I have my own, however, I think they are just adorable. I’m still not baby crazy over others’ kids, but they definitely don’t turn me off like they used to. And I just adore my own new little baby.

  6. Gaia says:

    oops, Gaia is me, Caroline. That’s a moniker for another wordpress blog I have.

  7. Ziff says:

    Finn is too cute with the blanket! (Great picture, by the way.)

    My younger son, I think when he was about 3, became enamored of dolls belonging to daughters of friends of ours. We (or perhaps my generous sisters) got him his very own doll for Christmas very shortly after, but by then he wasn’t as interested. It’s good to know he has some baby-nurture inclination in there somewhere, though!

  8. Ziff says:

    Oh, and I meant to say I really like your point #4 too. I lean towards being introverted, but the older I get the more I learn by experience that I am a fundamentally social person, and it’s really through the caring and love of others around me that my happiness comes from. Introvert or not. 🙂

  9. Stella says:

    Shows me that from young ages, boys and girls are equally capable of nurturing and loving babies. I like this idea.

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