Before I became a Mommy, few people told me how much fun it's going to be. Most talked about how difficult it is, how I can say goodbye to sleeping at night, and how I'm never going to have a quiet moment for myself again.
Of course, with the arrival of our Shira, I said goodbye to life as I knew it before. It would have been ridiculous to think I will still have as much free time as before, or that we will be able to set a structured schedule, or that many quiet evenings won't be interrupted by a crying baby. Life changes once you have a baby, and it's better to just relax and enjoy the journey.
It means slowing down. When I lean back in an armchair, nursing my dear child, I might not be doing all the things I planned, but I'm relaxing like never before. I look at our baby and admire how beautiful and precious she is. I'm enjoying a big glass of water and/or a healthy snack. I can pray, listen to soothing music, read a good book, and even write a bit of poetry if my right hand is free.
Little ones change so fast. In their first days of life, they mostly eat and sleep, but in just a few weeks their eyes begin to shine with bright curiosity, and you are rewarded by their first smile. Often, when we approach Shira's bed, she gives us one of her best big smiles the moment she sees us and kicks and coos and stretches out her little hands, expressing her utmost delight. Isn't it wonderful when a little person expresses such enthusiasm about seeing you, even when you just got out of your bed and are puffy-eyed and still wearing your pajamas?
At first, Shira had largely two "modes" of sound: silence and crying. But before we knew it, she started to experiment with her little voice, and now we can enjoy the delightful sounds of baby babble. The changes of each day are so subtle, so unnoticed, but together they add up fast. And before you know it, those babies sit up, crawl, walk, talk, learn to ride a bicycle, read, and swim… and you ask yourself, where does the time go?
Shira is now at an age when most babies are already in someone's else's care during most of the day. People call me with job offers and ask what I plan to do "next". But I cannot imagine giving up most of the precious fleeting days of my child's infancy. And not just because I think it's my duty to be there for her. I'm simply enjoying the time spent with my dear daughter, and I know I'll never come to regret it.
I look forward to even more fun as Shira starts to explore the world around her more actively. How wonderful it is to look around and see the world through a child's eyes!
We used to live as families. People spent the bulk of their time learning, growing and working together. Now gathering around the table for a family meal is becoming extinct, and even during vacation, many people have no idea what to do with their children. Siblings were each other's playmates, even if they weren't very close in age. Now, a child who is in the third grade cannot be friends with someone from the second grade. Our life used to be a whole, and now it's separated into little cubicles.
If you don't have children, have you tried to become friends with an eight-year-old? Try it, and you'll be uplifted. Children are sharp and enthusiastic, make countless interesting observations and think fascinating thoughts.
So take a child's little hand and go out. The rustle of leaves and patterns of light and shadow become fascinating. The work of ants can be watched for hours. Anything can be a joy, a delight, a most wonderful discovery. Life with children is an adventure, and I'm so grateful for the privilege of being a Mommy and making the most of it.