A Mary Moment Monday post

I’m NOT a Baby Person. And there are times–like when someone dear to me is holding a brand-new bundle of joy–when I feel guilt about this.

Just the other night, as I was NOT holding the newest nephew (though I enjoy his very existence immensely), I wondered if I’m broken.

“Yes, of course you are,” a dear friend replied to me when I shared this sentiment. “We’re ALL broken!”

Maybe that is what inspires me so much about babies, though I am not–will probably never be–a Baby Person.

In each of us, there is a longing, a “God-shaped hole,” to paraphrase Augustine. In babies, I see something of this longing fulfilled.

In new life, there is deliciousness mingled with uncertainty, beauty mixed in equal parts with messiness, and silent reflection overwhelmed with demands.

When I see a baby–especially a brand-spanking-new baby–I find myself speechless, overwhelmed, and teary. When that baby is a new member of our family, immediate or extended, I start to wonder, to conjecture, to dream beyond myself.

Sometimes I regret who I am, how I’m made, what makes me tick. In a moment of “Not a Baby Person,” I declined the chance to hold the non-weight of an infant nephew. In a streak of “Be Careful Around That Baby,” I discouraged my children’s enthusiasm. In an explosion of “I Can’t Handle Anything Else,” I failed to share my emotions face-to-face with the parents, who are among my closest friends.

We are all broken. But in the new baby, I see evidence of hope. In the smooth, sleeping brow, I see a canvas for the future.

Once I became a mother, I started looking at babies differently. Suddenly, though they were still little alien beings, they weren’t so mysterious. Unexpectedly, babies became almost appealing to me.

Babies remind me of the time I’ve had with each of my own babies. They trigger smiles at the hilarity that is the life of mothering littles. They point to what’s ahead, even as they invite slowing down for the present.

Holding my oldest daughter the night of her birth, I remember praying the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary with a whole new appreciation. I can’t help but think that, in my quest through life as a NON Baby Person, I need only grip Mama Mary’s hand.

She, after all, must be the best Baby Person there is, and she certainly won’t lead me astray.

image credit to my sister-in-law Brittany, whose new baby is perfect in every way