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The early days with a baby remind me a bit of college. Alternately sleepless and stressed, joyous and fulfilled. Just like passing a difficult test, one could sit and beam over this little bundle of accomplishment for days. As new parents we’re all a little spent, but content surrounded by our own people. The world is moving impossibly fast, but this time is limited. Seemingly unimportant snippets hang there before us just a little longer. We appreciate a second of quiet reflection before something inevitably crashes into the periphery.
We hibernate in our small expanse, burrowing into our community. For now, there’s just this family and the beauty of this small town.
Nate and I watch in awe at the small distractions, the trappings of the life we’ve made here. We’re in a place where farmers raise pigs and best friends ride together on horseback. I wake up early to see them and watch the fog settle beneath those hooves, into the high grass.
I almost sympathize with those gentle blades.
I, too, revel in mornings. The baby is 18 days old, and I actually set an alarm to try and beat him to the punch. It seems silly, but this starts my day off right. Sometimes a loved one is there, peering back at me with equally cloudy eyes that blink and blink as they search for focus. “How do you manage to be so hospitable?” a friend asked across the table a few days ago as I scooted a warm mug of coffee into her open hands.
We’re blessed to have abundant visitors who come to bring us food and cuddle up on the couch with Minion. Our babies are so loved and we’re all overwhelmed with belonging. It’s that sense of belonging that saved me when I was new to this. So I do what I can to create a welcoming atmosphere for others, getting help from the modern technologies of today. I have an electronic vacuum to keep the floors neat, and an assortment of products and packages that make life simpler so that none of it feels like a burden. I don’t push myself to be perfect at this time. Nothing is from scratch or hand done, but it’s all somehow just right.
Oma and Opa have continued to be a beacon of support, so I treated them and myself to a new coffee machine. One of those fancy Keurig 2.0 machines from Target that can brew a K-Cup pack or K-Carafe pack in minutes, with hundreds of beverage options. Yes, my beloved Starbucks is included in that list. I may be a country girl, but I have my crutches just like the rest of society.
Oh yes, caffeine runs this household during these blurry times. But there’s also tea for our guests and hot cocoa for the kids, all whipped up at the touch of a button and never failing to impress. It’s one of the secrets that I impart to new mom friends who inevitably wind up across from me at that table, bleary and disheveled and oh-so-relatable. “You can’t do it all,” I say. “Anyone who seems to? They’re faking it. They have a WHOLE lot of help.”
I guess that’s the big thing I’ve learned in the baby days. All of this cloudiness, all this haze, it gives you permission to let go of controlling the minutia.
To other new parents in this phase, I say take it all in. Drink it up. Revel in the small moments. In the morning cups of coffee. The tiny beauty of soft fingers and little balded heads.
There’s a certain beauty in this murkiness. It clouds the imperfections of everyday life.