I've been musing for some time about babies...about baby cravings...about the way we women, especially, love those tiny hands and feet. We love those hot little bundles. And, I, at least, love those sweet little cloth diapers, the teeny clothes, the socks and blankets. Babies are beautiful, even irresistible.
And, from time to time, I think I might want one. A baby, that is. In part, I think I want one because I feel like it would be different this time. I'd try to enjoy being pregnant more. I'd actually take pictures of that big round belly. I wouldn't be so worried about getting everything right. I'm convinced I'd be able to relax and enjoy the baby more, convinced that I'd be able to really be in the moment. So I could remember. So I could take those things and ponder them in my heart. I think, too, though, that I just enjoy the baby softness, the sweetness, newness, innocence. Babies are just so special.
But I'm realizing something. As with most truly beautiful things, babies don't last. You'd have to have a new one every year to get to experience that uniquely "baby" specialness. I suppose God made us that way...to crave babies, to want to feel that babyness one more time. But, like sunsets and the ocean and camping trips and autumn colors, eventually we have to let go. We can't take them home in our pockets. So, we take pictures and memorize the moments and pray that we'll always remember, knowing we won't...not everything.
I know there won't be another baby of my own, barring some major act of God. Sometimes I'm sad about it. But I'm learning that our cravings for beauty, for newness are endless and insatiable. I'm not sure another baby would satisfy the craving. When that one grew up, I'd still be nostalgic for those tiny hands and feet. Always nostalgic, remembering.
And I'm learning something else about myself. When I look back, I always wish I had been more present, payed more attention, really enjoyed where we were at. I am continually reminding myself to just be here, just be. Because I know when I look back, I'll wish I remembered more, that I had taken it all in.
It seems we are given each moment, each beautiful poignant page in time, only to let it go. No single moment ever comes again. We can't keep any of them, can't hold on, keep the little ones small, keep the sun from setting, keep the leaves rustling in the trees in that particular way. We can only live that moment. And live it once. It's up to us to live it fully.
The balm is in the knowing that more moments will come. Life keeps coming. Pages turn. Our children have children. The opportunity to live is continually available to us until we take our last breath.