The motherhood instinct
This weekend, I was lucky enough to be invited to a wonderful friend’s house who just had a baby 2 months ago (and when I say “invited,” I may possibly mean emailed, texted, and messaged until she finally let me come over). Her baby girl is the most precious little nugget imaginable and, I am sure this is no coincidence to how fabulous she is but, we share the same birthday and middle name! She is destined for greatness, obviously.
But in holding this precious little nugget who has the biggest eyes and the cutest pouty little mouth, I realized something pretty amazing…
Becoming a mother changes you. It creates something deep inside you that remembers all of the little tricks that work to help soothe a fussy baby (who picked today to refuse to take a nap). You remember the right positions to place her on your shoulder so that she can rest and look outside at the trees as the wind blows the leaves around. And you don’t even blink as she drools all over your dry clean only sweater.
Instinctually, I knew exactly what to do. The anxiety went away and the situation was transformed from holding my dear friend’s gorgeous baby to holding Noah when he was 2 months old. He smelled the same, had the same soft, weird hairline head, and made the same erratic and adorable faces. And then, just as nature took over, the little nugget fell asleep. And I stood, for over an hour, just standing and swaying just as I did for countless hours as I walked around my house 3 years ago when Noah was that age (although, I don’t remember my arms being so sore afterwards with Noah- I clearly need to get to the gym if a 10 pound baby has that kind of effect on my biceps). The same bounce and sway combination put this precious nugget to sleep that worked on Noah years ago. And I realized, it’s a mom thing.
No matter how many years span between now and the potential baby number two, I am forever a mom. The instinct has been ingrained in me. I will forever be a light sleeper and the tiniest of sounds will wake me (this will hopefully come in handy as Noah decides that his teenage years are perfect for sneaking out of the house. Or, possibly worse, sneaking someone in!). I will always check my gut feeling first to make the most important decisions. And I will panic with the slightest sense of uncertainty as he ventures out on his own or stumbles into new adventures. This is the destiny of motherhood.
For now, I can bask in the marvel that is someone else’s new baby. And I can relish the amazing sensation that comes from basking in someone else’s infant glory and then handing her back to her mother…