bella wish
bella wish, canon 50d

All of my life I loved the sound of a child's laughter, the soft supple feeling of their cheek against mine, their innocence, purity, trust and wonder. My first job was as a babysitter in high school. In college, I worked at a daycare. In my twenties, I was a leader of children's ministries at church. I was a nanny to a little boy. I was an aunt at 10 years old and continued to be five times over while growing up. I was a sign language interpreter for a little girl at church. I was always surrounded by the magic of a child. I had a gift to create a calmness, a trust with little ones. My soothing voice and gentle ways felt safe to them.

When going through our journey to conceive, it became increasingly hard to be around children. My instinct was to love and be near them but what came with that was a deeper longing that felt so present and real and it would crush me for days. People with the best intentions encouraged me to be around children. Not only for the magic of baby mojo to get pregnant but just to fill up that hole within me. But that didn't happen. It made the hole bigger and I knew what was best to protect my heart. So, I spent a good four years trying to be gentle about being around children. It went against the grain of who I am but it also felt right for me at the time. Thank goodness my girlfriends with children and my family were so very patient and understanding and gracious with me.

Now that I have Cedar, that healing has begun. I find myself slowly drifting back to those familiar ways I used to connect with children. Rather than looking away, I watch in wonder. The other day, I took Cedar to the park for the first time just him and I. We sat cuddled together on a shady bench, watching two little brothers play. When I caught myself watching, rather than turning away or trying to distract myself, tears welled up in my eyes. Whenever Cedar sees mommy tear up, he smiles. I'm not sure why he does this but I find it adorable. I looked at him and said "Cedar, it is because of you that I can sit here and enjoy these two precious miracles play together. As I nurture you, you nurture me."

Having Bella Wish over again the other day was a blessing. I notice when she talks and coos with me, her voice gets soft and breathy. I love when she reaches towards me to hold her because I know she is very selective about whom she trusts. When Stacy was packing things up in her car, Bella and I sat on the floor and played with the singing bowl. It was then that I stopped and paid attention to how I was feeling. I wasn't afraid or protecting myself or cautious about how close I was getting. I felt open to love her, hear her, BE with her...and it felt so, so refreshing.

So many wounds are healing. Wounds that I will honor for the rest of my life. Wounds that will forever allow a sensitivity to other journey sisters and brothers going through what we did. I am grateful for this sensitivity and will never assume another woman sitting on the bench is okay with watching me and my child. I will always be aware that there could be another person just like me, feeling all that I did. Some people may feel that this might take away from me living in the present moment with my child. But not me. I feel that it expands my heart towards Cedar and to others and helps me to not take these precious moments for granted.