New Life All Over Again

Nesting syndrome is real, and when you’re a born perfectionist, the instinct to get it together before baby arrives is brutal. Its insanity will not let me be, though my worn body tells me to slow down.

I couldn’t even clean out my freezer a few days ago without impulsively writing an inventory of all its contents. And making a list of fridge condiments. And pantry foods.

All this natural madness, combined with Easter and two birthday celebrations, made blogging last Thursday not an impossibility, but rather an afterthought. I apologize.

But I’m back this week, and you should know this post was drafted in the wee hours of the morning yesterday.

Pregnancy insomnia is real, too.

New Life All Over Again

When Abigail arrived two years ago, life was new all over again.

It wasn’t the same as settling into the dorms or moving away from home or marrying. It was as if the world was new all over again that first sunny morning with Abigail in our lives.

Miracles shadowed by responsibility, worry, and the progression of time – things at which I’d once marveled daily – re-emerged in fresh light: the sky, the squatty South Texas trees, mourning doves, and the stars. Everything was new again because it was new to her.

Before Abigail, I’d thought about how I’d need to read to her and teach her all the colors, numbers, and letters. It would be imperative that I model good manners and live out my faith more intentionally so as to raise up a woman of faith. But as for the simple things, I’d forgotten. A white moon in a bluebird sky would be as foreign and amazing to her as the furry faces of her two dogs. The seasonal Cicada buzz would be as puzzling as the existence of her hands.

One time in Gatlinburg, when she was old enough to sit up in her stroller, we passed by the aquarium. We did not enter, but how exciting would it be to one day watch her discover all the wonderful things Zach and I had learned about as children? How amazing to consider she was starting from scratch, innocent of heart and mind.

Like almost any kid her age, Abigail can now distinguish the moon from a star and blow kisses. She can mimic a multitude of animals noises, and she calls almost every fish a shark. To celebrate the big two and her love for sharks, we took her to the Georgia Aquarium.

It was what I had waited for; it was probably more for us than for her.

Though I am now thirty-one, I still long to acknowledge the beauty of morning songbirds and hazy sunsets. Though I still look for Orion when I take the dogs out before bedtime, it’s only brief acknowledgement. I still love the zoo and the aquarium, yet in a different way. The passing of childhood brings with it long-awaited for adulthood. Yet, adulthood and what it entails can wear us down and blind us to the sweet and simple things of life. It is a gift that comes with a cost. In adulthood, seeing God in the everyday things takes a little more work. It’s why we’re called to childlike faith, and it’s why discipline, though not fun, is vital. If childlike faith and wonder mean anything to us when childhood is over, we will do what it takes to nurture it.

With all that responsibility, worry, and aging, God knows it’s hard to nurture such a gift on our own. He is full of grace, and I believe the blessing of any kid’s company is an aspect of that grace.

In the midst of nesting and exhaustion, there was something about watching two-year-old Abigail watch a real-life shark for the first time. It nurtured in me what I alone could not nurture.

Everyday, it’s her shameless joy that somehow enriches everything already precious in life. It’s a heavenly gift; it’s new life all over again.

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