“Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.” (Ps. 127:3) (NIV)
From the moment I found out I was pregnant I started moving things around. I was shifting my medications, changing my way of thinking, changing what I was eating. Shortly after all that, I began sorting through the attic to remove unneeded items and clothes. I must have toted 25 huge trash bags to the curb. I think I donated three lawn and leaf sacks full of clothes and shoes.
Next the contents of the soon-not-to-be-spare bedroom were shifted, sorted, redistributed and rearranged, repeatedly. As it slowly, no, make that painfully slowly, was transformed into a nursery. I shifted out of our house as much stuff as I could bear to part with and then, after the baby showers, I began the process of shifting our remaining things around to make room for the new things.
Babies take up space. The space they take up is shocking. Such a little person taking up so much room! First in the womb (talk about a tight fit!), then in our hearts, homes, arms, and our minds. (Oh! And we mustn’t forget the photo/video storage space on our phones.) In our culture we believe that babies require a large amount of baby gear. Cribs, swings, changing tables, diaper bags, diaper pails, swings, high chairs, play yards, toys, clothes, diapers, blankets, bottles, baby food, sleep monitors, wipe warmers, tiny thrill rides that jiggle them around as if they were riding in car…the list continues ad nauseum.
( The bookcase I used to use for storing books is now anchored to the wall. The bottom shelves are held in place with drywall screws. My knick knacks have been shifted upward twice.)
My little house is bursting at the seems! There were times when Ethan was tiny that I felt like I had no room to walk around. Every time I could discontinue the use of a baby item and shift it to the attic I rejoiced. Goodbye, Bassinet! See you later, Baby swing!
Strangely, the amount of stuff never seems to decrease. My attic is fuller now than it was before I started cleaning it out. For every tote of my old clothes I removed there is now a replacement tote of Ethan’s old clothes. I can walk around my house nowadays, as long as I dodge the laundry baskets and toys, but the attic is slowly being closed off to traffic…
The bassinet and baby swing that I gleefully packed away immediately gave way to ride on toys, a playpen, baby gates and a toy box. The pumping supplies and bottles were replaced with tiny bowls and sippy cups. Infant toys have been replaced by twice as many toddler toys. (I think the toys are being fruitful and multiplying…)
I have come to a place where I am not necessarily in a hurry to discontinue use of the current equipment, but I know soon my strong and intelligent kid will overcome all my containment strategies. I deeply hope when that time comes he will choose to bother me in the bathroom in liew of more dangerous pursuits.
There has definitely been a huge amount of internal shifting in me since I have become a mother, and I know there have been big shifts in my marriage. But effort of making room for Ethan has been exponentially rewarding. Our house truly is bursting at the seams. I cannot add one single piece of furniture without first removing something to make room. But since Ethan moved in, our house is also bursting at the seems with love. He has filled our lives with so much joy. He shines so brightly for me that I call him my “baby sun”.
(My “Speghetti Night” Ethan)
Every night before I put Ethan to bed we pray. (I mostly do the praying but he is learning.) Every night I thank God for him and for the time I got to spend with him that day. Even when the day was difficult, even when Ethan himself may have been difficult to manage, I mean it from the deepest part of my innermost being.
Thank you, Father, for Ethan.