Monday, September 04, 2006
Trips down the Rough Road of Memory Lane
Don and I arrived last Thursday to meet our newest grandson, Landon. We also planned to pitch in as needed. Thursday ended up being a bit of a melt-down day. Little Landon brought with him all sorts of new situations, challenges. Leslie and Jeremy were worn out by the time we arrived. They'd hoped their first night home, Wednesday, would be this great bonding experience. They bonded by holding on for dear life.

Friday was spent with the pediatrician, obstetrician and a visit to the lactation specialist. Kind, caring people who reassured this young couple they will indeed live through the first months of being parents. Landon will be one week old tomorrow, and we've been averaging 4-6 hours of sleep a night. He's doing great; the rest of us are a little war-weary.

Watching the first week of this little one's life unfold, and seeing his parents begin their journey through parenting has made me think back 25-30 years ago. I remembered phoning my mother-in-law the first night Sarah was home, at 3 am, in tears. I will never forget she was gracious enough to come over in the middle of a snowy February night to burp her for me. That feeling of sitting in a rocking chair, alone, with a crying infant - the loneliness and sense of being completely overwhelmed. I've also been aware of how much I've forgotten. Some of the really tough times are very shadowy recollections. Having a child suffer through colic for five months built character, but I sure wouldn't sign up for the lessons again.

I've seen Landon welcomed into our family; we're all so happy to finally see what Leslie's "bump" looks like. He looks just like Jeremy, a good reminder that our family is truly enlarged beyond the five of us. Watching Leslie's siblings and their spouses come forward with support has been so very gratifying. It doesn't seem that long ago our three kids were fighting in the car about having to breathe the same air. Watching one support the other - wow, our parenting worked! They not only love each other, they like each other too. I find the "like" more remarkable, and rewarding.

Landon's little house is still not a well-oiled machine. It's moving more like a hand-mower than a self-propelled one right now. It's an interesting exercise, as a mother, to step back, watch these new parents dip their toes into the vast world of parenting, praying like crazy for them, but hesitating to offer too much help. We learned by doing, even when it was exhausting, discouraging, overwhelming. They will too. It's such a gracious gift from God that they get to go through all this, even if it doesn't feel like it for the 4 am feeding. It will, when they look back.

  posted at 12:34 AM

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    Girl Raised in the South

    I have a deep, abiding love for full octane coffee, sewing, knitting, quilting, reading, cooking, gardening, God and my family - not in that order.

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