Beatrix took her first road trip since we brought her home. She slept the entire trip there, only to wake up literally three minutes before we arrived at her Nana and Poppa's home. So far, she tolerates traveling quite well. Will this always be the case? Ha! She ate, played, and made sweet eyes and infectious smiles at her loving grandparents.
I've never been a big baby person. Not even through the years of trying to have a baby. I knew I wanted a baby and that I would love my baby. But I never gushed or stopped other parents to admire theirs. Parental love for a newborn was something I had not experienced, therefore didn't know. Oh, but my, what a wonderful, life changing chapter Byron and I are on now. People stop us. Senior citizens, middle age fathers, young mothers, mothers of teenagers, you name it. They stop in awe of our sweet little one. And all at once you can see they are taken back to those precious moments of when their own children were as tiny, as fragile, as innocent, as new, as she is now. And now I get it. I see where they are coming from.
I've landed my eyes upon a wonderful little read, Momma Zen: Walking The Crooked Path of Motherhood by Karen Maezen Miller. I love chapter 26 titled "At Ease: The Grass Grows By Itself". She talks about what to do. I always need someone to reinforce this concept to me. I know it. But I don't always trust myself. Society's idea that our perfect selves cannot be perfect in their own right and in their own light, but must be perfect in comparison to...
"What to do now and what to do next, what to do right and what to do better next time. Oh, there is plenty to do, all right --plenty of laundry and plenty of dishes, plenty of caring and loving and fun. ...But the real work, the heavy lifting, your child will do by himself. You will wring your hands (preferably when no one is looking), but otherwise your job is to master the delicate art and ineffable substance of doing nothing.
"Doing nothing doesn't quite mean doing nothing. None of the pushing and prompting we invariable do to get our kids off to a "right start." None of the extra holding, coddling, and protecting we do to keep our babies with us a little longer. It means taking care of what needs to be done right now. And what is that? Whatever is in front of you."
"You don't have to work so hard at this. You don't have to do so much. You don't have to endeavor to be natural, normal, and good. It happens by itself when you least expect it. ...Take care of what is in front of you, when it is in front of you, and the confusion will pass."
"With time, your roots grow deep and your branches long. You lean a little less backward in fear and a little less forward in doubt, resting solidly right where you are. When the wind blows, you bend. When it stops, you straighten. Your boughs provide shelter and shade. Your strength supports the sky. Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes and the green grass grows by itself.
"Your baby will be okay."
I just love this chapter. I think all people, not just mothers, can learn from that passage. For me, it's a life long lesson to master. To sway in the wind. But I think that that's the point. There's no mastery. There's only moments.
I've been trying to notice the small things (or the big things, really). It seems that Beatrix already knows how to do that.
On our walks, her head reaches towards the sky, the trees. She sees only the light and dark contrast of the two, we presume. She seems to see so much in that though. Already, there's no doubt of her spirit and of her inner peace. Already, she's our little teacher.