Photo by Lyndsey Sullivan Photography
The sweetest part of my day is the time I spend with Grace at bedtime.
Sitting there, rocking her in the nursery, feeding her and whispering softly to her, or maybe not even making a sound, it’s just soothes me so.
I never expected to come to need that time for myself too. Those quiet, serene, love-drenched moments truly recharge me after a full day of work and baby rearing.
Often times, once Grace has dozed off after her bedtime bottle, I remain. Holding her. Staring at her little face. Thinking about how much I love her. And as she falls deeper asleep, I find myself looking around the dimly lit nursery.
What I see, beyond the reddish starry-sky night light, is the generosity of others – of the people who care about us and filled the room with its contents.
I see my 3rd grade school teacher in the humidifier she gave us. The one that helps keep Grace’s sniffles at bay each night.
I see all of Grace’s grands when my eyes land on the gorgeous crib and dresser. Pieces that will stay in our growing family’s home for years–probably decades. A constant reminder of the love they had for Grace, long before she was born.
I see my sweet friend Kami in the two little fox jars keeping the changing station organized and tidy. She found them and just had to get them for Grace’s fox accessorized nursery, even after she’d already gotten me a gift and helped throw me a shower. Those jars now also remind me of how eagerly she watches Grace for me sometimes. How she knows I have no family in town and lovingly wants to help (and cuddle a cute baby).
And my eyes always wander to Grace’s closet. The rocking chair is right next to it, so it’s hard to miss. Usually ajar, I’m able to see the fullness of all the racks. I bring a picture into my mind of the monogrammed sleep sack my neighbor had made for Grace after she was born. And I picture–cause it’s dark and I can’t see it–the clothes with little whales that my Grandy so excitedly picked out. The effort put in by Susanna who made baby clothes by hand. Her excitement to give gifts always makes me smile.
Each night, my thoughts hop about to various items in the room and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude fills my heart. I just can’t believe how many people cared enough about us to give us the things we rely on to care for our baby.
I mean, really. When you stop to think about a shower gift you are giving … You’re gifting new parents with the things they will use to pour out love on their new baby in the form of feeding, swaddling, changing, bathing … Parents use those things with love. They help create a bond between parent and child. Each item adds to the collective, and that collective powers us parents along. It gives us the tools to lovingly care of our babies.
So it’s not just a gift. It’s a beautiful, generous, amazing thing.
And that’s why, sitting there, with my innocent little baby asleep in my arms, I can’t help but take a deep breath and send up a prayer of thanks to God for it all. A prayer of thanks for you and your giving hearts.
Thank you for helping me raise my baby.