When my son was born in January, I thought that I had all of the answers. I thought that I knew exactly where my husband and I stood on the major issues in parenting - permissiveness, spanking, and education chief among them. Then Jayden got here. Now I know nothing.
My eight-month-old son is the most amazing person I've ever known. He learns new things everyday - an impossible feat for the average adult. There are so many ways that he shocks me everyday; here are a few of them.
First, he can forgive and forget in a way that I never could. If Jayden gets mad at us because we don't pick him up soon enough or gently take away a toy when it is time to leave the house, he has forgotten it in an hour and can be found giggling and wrestling his Care Bears on the floor with his dad.
Babies can love with a purity adults cannot understand. My husband and I share an incredible marriage, one that I truly believe is stronger than most marriages today. Our love has a history, however, and we cannot deny that past. We have had fights, thought about calling it quits, and been forced to compromise to make everything work. While that kind of relationship makes marriage bonds stronger, it should not be the foundation of a parent's relationship with a baby. Instead, Jayden's love, like that of most babies, has no history. It is innocent and pure, and you can see in every smile and giggle that there is only goodness underneath.
Third, Jayden has taught me that a few bumps and bruises along the way are okay. When he falls, sometimes he cries; sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he just wants Mommy or Daddy to pick him up and comfort him. Regardless of how he feels after a fall, though, Jayden's right back up there doing whatever caused him to fall in the first place whether it is trying to climb the couch (which we have unsuccessfully forbidden) or trying to stand on his own.
Learning is a process, and babies are a testament to the power of that process. Jayden will try something repeatedly until he gets it. The look of pure joy on his face when he finally figures out how to pull a toy from his toy box or how to get the blocks to stand on each other should encourage us all to continue learning.
When Jayden is amazed by a leaf falling to the ground or by what happens when his Mommy breaks an egg into a bowl, I am reminded of the beauty and simplicity of life. As adults, it is easy to get caught up in our lives, our careers, and the general drama of life and forget to sit back and enjoy what is around us.
Most of all, Jayden has taught me that my love is much stronger than I had every imagined possible. While the strength and depth of the love between mother and baby cannot be overcome by baby's growing up, I always will cherish these days with him when our love is all-encompassing.
By Brandi Rhoades