My sweet Juniper gets cuter by the day, but this week she has gotten irresistibly cute. I can hardly take it! I clench my teeth, squint my eyes, and shake my fists because I just can't take it. I love to blow on her tummy, squeeze her chubby arms and legs, and try to make her laugh. The noises she makes are so adorable that they resonate an eternally happy feeling in my soul. Yes, her babbles do that much to me. They make me melt. They make me want to cry. They make me overjoyed.
Last night I was reading her a bedtime story. It was all about the noises animals make. And of course I sound ridiculous trying to moo like a cow or baa like a sheep. But last night, Juni loved it! With each animal sound she cracked up. I beckoned to Heath so he could share in this precious moment (no pun, I swear I'm not talking about the glass figurines). We died. I cannot adequately express to you how cute it was but I am so filled with sunshine from that little girl that I can't keep it to myself.
I remember at the beginning of my pregnancy I was so sick. I had not yet accepted or wanted the reality that I would soon be a mommy. I remember one day watching Oprah and the show was about motherhood. I thought, "Great! Now I can really benefit from these kinds of episodes." But after the show was over I sobbed. I was devastated. I did not want to have a baby. Despite the show's good intentions, they failed to express to me that becoming a mother would be worth it. Everyone on the show talked about how hard it was. How miserable they were. How much they aren't respected. How rotten their children are and how they took away their personal lives. I didn't hear one woman talk about anything positive about being a mom.
Fortunately, the dread melted away with the sickness and soon I was so excited to start a family. I am happy to have discovered (though I know I'm not the first) that babies are wonderful and being a baby's parent is also wonderful. I took a developmental psychology class online this past semester and I learned something interesting. When comparing young mothers to middle-aged women who are out of their early mothering years, the younger women were rated as less happy then the older women. In fact, they were rated the least happy (and quite stressed) of both men and women at all stages of adulthood. However, and a BIG however, they were also rated as having the most joy. Confusing? Not at all. Think of it this way. All things in life have an opposite so with the deepest sorrow comes the great joy. I parallel Juniper's birth to this. It was by far the hardest and most painful thing I have done but I have never ever experienced such constant elation, which lasted for weeks, in my life! I look forward to the time I get to succumb to the pains of childbirth just to have that euphoria again. I don't think it is mere coincidence that childbirth and motherhood have these amazing potential outcomes. It is a blessing from God. Sadly, I do not believe society as a whole realizes this and consequently many individuals do not realize this either, despite their good intentions. If only we all realized that the trials of motherhood create the greatest blessings and that it is a noble "profession" to be a nurturing, teaching, creating, loving mother.
OK, I will stop. If you have read it all, thank you for sticking with me and hearing me out. I have become quite the passionate person. Anyway, I got off on a tangent. What was I saying? Ah, yes! Juniper is so darn cute!!!