And I sat in his chair and rocked him for a good twenty minutes just taking it all in and smelling him and looking at him. And then I was rubbing his back and I started thinking how small he is. And suddenly I had a vision of my baby as a grown man. Or, rather, I suddenly pictured him as a young adult, leaving our house for college. I have no idea where it came from. (Perhaps hormones?) And I've always known that YES, my baby will someday fly the nest, of course, but for some reason in that particular moment, it seemed so very real, and I got panicked. And then I started to cry. Yes, cry. Like a dummy. I sat there and allowed myself to imagine the profound sadness I might feel someday when my baby isn't a baby anymore. When he doesn't want to cuddle up on me or kiss me or have me rock him to sleep. When he goes to sleep every night in a different house, probably a different zip code. And I know my time with my child is fleeting, but man...in that moment, I really felt it, and I had a profound feeling of sadness that I couldn't shake.
And then, I don't know, I guess because it's almost Christmas and I keep listening to Christmas music, I started thinking about baby Jesus and Mary. And please bear with me because this is about to get profoundly dumb, but it's where my thoughts went next. I started thinking about how Mary used to hold her own baby, all those years ago, and surely she had these same moments, right? Moments where she just wanted to freeze time and keep her baby little forever. Moments where she rocked him and pictured his future, separate from her. Except her son was the son of God, and I just can't even fathom her thought process.
Recently our pastor spoke at our MOPS group, and when talking about Mary, he made the point that she was just an average woman. But more than that...she was likely a lot more simple than we imagine. He made the point that in today's world, we know so much more- understand so much more about the world and life and people and things-than Mary could ever have. There was no internet. She hadn't traveled the world or met people from different places. Her perspective was likely very small. And unlike me, she didn't already have history to rely on. She was making it, so her perspective was...limited I guess you could say.
And so now, when I hear the lyrics in the song that say, "Mary, did you know...the sleeping child you're holding, is the Great, I Am" I can't help but think NO, of course she didn't. I guess she knew in a way, but no, I don't think she could have ever fathomed the enormity of what she was doing. It's hard for me to fathom...and I know how history plays out. I don't believe when Mary held baby Jesus and stroked his face and kissed his little forehead she could ever understand really. Because the enormity of her son's future would be too much. I think it would be too much to really, truly understand the future of baby Jesus and still love him with a mothers love. And I think that's probably the way it was supposed to be...maybe for all of us?
I was thinking that maybe I need to spend less time thinking about Clark's future...next year, five years, twenty years down the road. I should probably stop trying to understand or grasp the enormity of raising a human, and focus more on the toddler that I'm raising today. And just accept that God already has it all worked out, right? I don't want the weight of the future to steal my joy today.
And in my mind, with my (probably very flawed) logic, Mary is an example for me to follow.