Meet Trenton. He's one of my newest nephews and he is five days old. His brother was a little sleepier, so I didn't get any pictures of him, but you can believe he is just as cute (they are twins, after all). Kyler is the little one, at 3 lbs. 13 oz. when I visited tonight after work, and Trenton is the chunky monkey at 4 lbs. 5 oz. I told April that Kyler weighs less than I eat in a day. Some days, I'm not exaggerating.
There's been a lot of birth around me lately. A lot of young things, small and squirmy and unable to survive on their own. In a matter of six days, three new lives have come into my own. I also spent a good amount of time with a 2 year old and a baby who is less than a year. They are all so tiny and helpless and were pushed into this world forcefully and violently, and they enter wet and crying.
I am so afraid of them. Not--as many are--of babies themselves. I have been around babies for nearly my whole life, it seems. Loved them, and rocked them, changed them. They all seem to think that I am some sort of mattress, flopping their arms and legs over my sides, sprawled out, sleeping, mouths open, on my chest. And children, too, they love me. Eye me in the grocery store, curls and dimples, and see something of themselves, I suppose. Smiles, waves, shy eyes for a strange girl. I am not afraid of these kids, the ones of other people, but my own.
I know I will have children. Not for many years, but before one more decade is up (for health and safety and to lower risks). They will come out screaming and covered in my body and I will love them--of course I will love them.
I listen to my sisters talk of being mothers; I listen to Alyssa, such a new mom, too. I read this story and I cry and I ache and I shake in fear and awe of those moments, those hours, and I am more afraid than I ever have been before to be a mother.
Not just for the pain of labor--but because I have a suspicion that that pain doesn't go away. It doesn't vanish when the mother heals, but changes and morphs into a lifetime of instinct and knee-jerk reflexes of love & pain & worry & fear. No one ever teaches you how to raise a child lovingly, properly, how to turn it into a human being. Perhaps someone taught you, but I don't know how.
The point of having a child is to show it all of the most amazing things in this world. The point of having a child is so that it can become a better person than you. The point of having a child is so that this world--so full of amazing things--can be full of better people, too. These are the things I know.