Children — especially babies — are little and vulnerable, vulnerable to the large, often clueless adults who care for them. Put yourself in a baby’s situation. Preverbal for years, it must be frustrating to be tired or in pain, only to have a bottle thrust into your mouth or have a tense, upset mother try to nurse you when your stomach is bloated with burps.
This disconnect does not end once children can communicate. Nope, our adult reasoning simply does not always compute in little brains. Why, I have been told that human beings do not get their adult brain till they are 25 years old! Apparently, the frontal lobe that makes sane, rational decisions is not fully developed till the mid-twenties.
That means for almost a quarter of a century, humans need a special kind of love and nurturing that will not only meet them and connect with them right where they are, but guide them gently without controlling them and stunting their own growth intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
The best mothers are willing to learn from their offspring, from books, from experience and from others. Good mothers need a wonderful sense of humour to laugh at their own blunders, to laugh at their kid’s blunders. Openness to trying new tactics helps, as does creativity, but most of all they need to be intuitive, listening to their little ones’ body language and tone of voice and their own gut feelings and instincts.
Our society really does not spend time preparing hapless adults to parent.
The best art cannot be forced or controlled because the imagination thrives and creates in a relaxed attitude of openness, a sense of play not duty. Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant scientists of the last century, valued imagination over knowledge.For a brainy, intellectual, Einstein had a lot to say about imagination:
” Imagination is every thing. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions”
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
Antaole France adds:
“To know is to nothing at all; to imagine is everything.”
As for me:
Suddenly an idea springs up from my inner self,
initiating a flow of words, assimilated emotions, reflections and connections
I am reaching out to hundreds of bloggers by linking to friendship friday today in hopes that a few of you will help spread this message
Eight years ago, Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma; a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. She had just given birth to her daughter, Lily, and was only given 15 months to live. After a life saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, she is thriving more than ever.
Since she is one of only a few survivors, her family has made it their lives mission to spread awareness of mesothelioma: a PREVENTABLE disease that takes so many innocent lives. In honor of the 10th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day (September 26) she is asking bloggers to help us spread the word by dedicating a blog post to share some eye opening facts and statistics you didn't know about mesothelioma.
Would you be willing to help us spread awareness and eradicate this terrible disease?
If so, please let Heather know and she can send along more information. It would mean so much to her family.
"Spreading awareness is key to advancement in treatment and hopefully, someday, a cure. There are so many alarming facts and statistics about this disease that I'm hoping each blog post will be unique! I provided some information about my campaign as well as some eye-opening facts about the disease. Please let me know if there's anything else I can help with!"
I am a conundrum in the eyes of modern society because I am a joyful mother of nine children.
This very fact seems to confound most people who expect me to look like a haggard, worn out bag of regret and unfulfilled dreams.
Society in general is baffled to learn that I discovered freedom precisely as a mother.
Now a joyful, tiny mother of nine simply confuses people because I shatter all their preconceived notions.
The typical image of a multipara women would be a large, matronly, robust, grim, battle-axe of a mother, efficiently marshaling her young charges with little time to coddle or love the poor, deprived dears.
Gabrielle Zevin has written a hilarious description of babies in her delightful novel, The Storied Life of A.J.
Fikery. A.J. An unrepentant curmudgeon, is literally saved after he adopts a toddler left abandoned in his bookstore.
His first description of babies is unusual but comically apt. Baby Maya is a “terrorist” who makes insane demands and she is completely self-centered making her a terrible conversationalist. She is worse than an untrained puppy. Even more objectionable, she has terrible taste in literature, insisting that he read the same board book over and over. Although he complains loudly, A.J. is hooked by Maya’s first smile and declaration of love. His description seems outrageous but every parent will smile and secretly admit that every word is true.
Babies are loveable tyrants.
We used to joke and tell our infants, ” It is good that you are cute!” because they usurped every other activity, demanding and needing immediate attention. They do save us from our own narcissism, though, forcing us to grow up and mature.
From the moment a baby locks eyes with a parent and grips their finger, they forge a bond of steel that unleashes a tidal wave of protective love that surprises a new parent. These preverbal little people express their needs with heart-rending screeches of pain, hunger and frustration that can unnerve the most independent adult, forcing us to dig deep to discover hidden resources of strength and patience that we did not even know existed. When those resources have depleted, they nudge us to reach out to others and to God for help. I know my babies saved me from myself, just like Maya saved A.J. Fikery.