The past few weeks have been sort of amazing. My body is feeling healed and energetic, dear friends and family have been dropping by with helping hands, a warm meal, or just thoughtful encouraging words. It has truly been a babymoon, and that has been pure joy: there's nothing like having the chance to get to know and love a new little person, marveling at the wonder that is creation.
But just as after the honeymoon, the very real work of building a marriage has to begin, after the babymoon, the very real work of building a family must begin. Which means that after several days of pure joy and bliss, I am once again humbled to my knees about how very real and challenging the work of nurturing and caring for three little ones is. There are the purely physical needs, of which there are many: feeding nourishing foods, making sure bodies are dressed and clean, the work of changing diapers and putting a newborn baby to sleep, all the while keeping big girls happy and engaged in some activity. And then there are the emotional needs. And oh my, despite the fact that a whole day can be spent simply tending to the physical needs, the emotional needs are where the real work is. Taking care and time and energy to make each little person feel as loved and adored as they truly are: this is the most important work of parenting.
I am at once struck by my own potential for growth (to put it generously) and by the amazingness of all of the women who have come before me and done this work with such grace. And grace is really what it comes down to: Francis of Assisi once said that "Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self." And for the thousandth time I am realizing that I truly cannot do this alone, and that all that is asked of me is that I give generously of myself in each moment and be forgiving of myself when I fail, which I will. And even in those moments that I look tearfully to Ben and say that I really don't think I am quite cut out for this, there is grace to be had in those moments, too.
And then somewhere in the mix, in these whirlwind, sleepy days, there are glimmers of such unspeakable beauty that I realize the purpose of this work that we do, which is, at its heart, so good.