the one about the trouble with babies


Full of trouble, babies are.

They keep us awake at night. And then just when we think we are going to sneak in a nap, they keep us awake during the day, too.

They cry. Early on, they cannot communicate their needs and wants very well, so crying is their method of choice.

And then they start talking. Which is great, but then the talking turns to whining. And asking 3,582 questions an hour.

Babies are stinky. You see colors of poop you didn't know existed. Before long, you become that mom who lifts the baby's bottom to nose level, take a big whiff, and determine what deed has been done.

Babies are expensive. We buy any $35 trinket marketed for better sleep or less fussiness or higher intelligence. We buy expensive strollers and diapers and car seats and nursery sets and diapers and clothes and toys and swings and diapers and bouncers and diapers.

But none of this is the trouble.

No, definitely not.

The trouble with babies is that they grow.

They start off so small. We fall in love with the tiny feet and tiny hands and tiny nostrils and tiny butt cheeks. The newborn diapers are so adorable that our new mama hearts explode into rainbow unicorn confetti. The sleepers and onesies are darn near doll-size, and this delights us to no end.

And then they grow.

Before long, we are packing away the newborn clothes, crying softly in the attic. Holding up each outfit and remembering the spit-up stains or the occasion for that frilly dress. Some things (a lot of things) still have tags attached because the baby just grew too quickly to wear everything.

The "Next Size Up" game continues every few months for the next couple of years. Shoes and coats continue to grow larger, too. Before you know it, diapers turn to underwear and your baby just isn't a baby anymore.

In the blink of an eye, you're registering your baby for Kindergarten. That can't be right, can it? Didn't you just have that baby? Weren't you just holding her in your arms, shushing her to sleep? Wasn't she just babbling her first word and stumbling through her first steps?

Yes, the trouble with babies is that they grow.

And that they are terrible listeners, because you're certain you told her at least a trillion times to stop growing! Don't get any bigger!

But she does. She just keeps growing.

As you begin this next chapter of life, you realize that you will not only witness additional physical growth in your baby, but you will see growth in many other ways.

Growth in the confidence to meet a new friend, to stand up for someone being picked on, to walk into the school building, alone, without looking back.

Growth in the courage to try out for a team, to stay all night at a friend's house, to state an unpopular opinion.

Growth in knowledge.

Growth in faith.

The trouble with babies is that they grow.

And the trouble with mamas is that we don't want to let them.

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