I may have mentioned my new nephew once or twice here. If you stand still or next to me long enough you will hear about the kid. Babies do that to us, don’t they? They enter this world and, if we pay attention, we can feel a shift.
As an adult you hear the word “balance” used more times than you could possibly care to. We are absurdly busy people trying to navigate responsibilities to the people around us and our selves. We have it all up there on our scale, our families, friends, jobs, body, mind, soul…it all goes up. Some of us like our scales perfectly balanced. Even on all sides. Others, by choice or not, have more see-saw looking scales, in constant flux.
Then we have kids. Bringing a child into the mix will mess with any sort of balance we had previously come to terms with. For some, those even-steven scales are thrown completely off whack like you just dropped a bowling bowl on it. Once side dips way down, way too fast, causing everything else on the scale to go flying up in the air. You are forced to let go of what your scale no longer has room for. For those balance loving folks, this is a major ouch. It ain’t easy. For others, who were already used to a see-saw scale, this new baby adds some major weight to the equation. That up and down they had come to function in and love, may begin to even out. For those see-saw loving people, this new stillness can be terrifying.
Bringing a new kid home rocks our world no matter what. We try to prepare. There are baby showers and advice givers and books and more advice givers. Yet, any honest parent would tell you, there is nothing that can prepare you for the life altering experience of becoming a parent. Your heart does things that you didn’t even know were possible. Life is forever shifted.
I thought I knew what it would be like to see my little sister become a mom. Sort of like I thought I knew what it would be like to become a mom myself. Only to discover, I had no clue.
My sister, Mary Kate, has been an incredible aunt to her seven nieces and nephews and the countless children in her multiple friend circles. She is and has always been a giver, in every sense of the word. Her generosity, no nonsense truth telling, and enthusiasm for the life and people she loves are obvious to anyone who gets lucky enough to know her. She has always loved us all in a tremendous way. A way in which it seemed obvious what kind of mother she would be. I believed I had already seen the maternal side of her. Her having her own would be an extension of who she had always been.
Then came the kid.
Again, a baby entered the world and I was unprepared for what my heart was about to make room for. Watching my little sister as a mama? Holy crap people. It is a new kind of beautiful.
This past weekend I watched her watch him. She holds him and I can see her memorizing his little face. She holds him and she breathes a newness I didn’t think was needed or even possible. I feel like I can literally see her becoming more of herself.
Life just shifted once again. Balance Smalance. No scales needed when this kind of love takes over.