Lessons from my baby daughter #2.
I have rocked a lot of babies to sleep in my 32 years. Growing up as the eldest of six children, I was given the choice of putting the little ones to bed or washing dishes. There were a lot of dishes. Washing dishes lost. So, in spite of my impressive baby whisperer resume, I was overwhelmed by the sheer joy of feeling my own little one burrow into the crook of my arm at the end of the day and drift off to sleep.
When I first came home after my SCAD I hadn’t the strength to even lift Miss L, let alone rock her to sleep. Instead, we got used to cuddles on the couch or in the rocking chair where my heart rate could stay low and I wouldn’t use up the precious little energy I had. I have often wondered if it is this new slow beat that lulled her to sleep. No matter where we are or what time of day or night, that little space on my left arm close to my heart is her home.
You see, we don’t actually have a home right now. The Coronary Care Unit was very thorough in sending me home with all the information I could possibly hope to need about my new condition but they didn’t give me a manual for this new world. My ‘this is your life’ book was suddenly replaced and the new contents page read:
- Chapter 1. Give birth
- Chapter 2. Survive SCAD
- Chapter 3. Husband quits job to care for invalid wife and newborn baby
- Chapter 4. Go broke
- Chapter 5. Sell house for fraction of its worth
- Chapter 6. Pack everything we own with a six-week-old baby in tow
- Chapter 7. Leave life in Perth and return home to the east coast
- Chapter 8. Move in with parents-in-law
- Chapter 9. Husband returns to casual work
- Chapter 10. Live out of half unpacked boxes and on the charity of family
There are many days when I wish I could close this book and dig through my belongings to find the old one. I cannot. This is the life I have been given and I am grateful for it but that does not hush the ever-deepening call of my heart for a home of my own. A place where I can leave things out, put things away, shower, wash, cook and even clean how I choose. A place where I can play with my daughter and snuggle with my husband. A place where I can just be.
Here’s the thing I have to remember though. Miss L doesn’t care where she takes a bath, or rolls around on the floor, or gets passed from arm to arm, or even where she gets her next meal. She doesn’t care where she lays her head to sleep as long as it is my arms that place her there and my lips that kiss her good night and my face that she sees in the morning. I am her home.
Home is where the heart is and my heart is with my daughter, with my husband and ultimately with my Father in Heaven. And there is no warmer embrace or safer place to be found.