Saturday, October 12, 2013

Babies Don't Keep.

Song for a Fifth Child by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton (1921- )

Mother, oh mother, come shake out your cloth!
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby, loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.)

Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby. Babies don't keep.

 I found this poem exactly a year ago.  I saved it.  I think about it a lot.  Then, after I had Mitch, I realized that I had never identified with it more.  Though he is only my 4th, not the fifth child, I completely know what this mother was writing about.  I am not ashamed to admit that with Mitch, and every previous child, I tear up a little every evening because it means my precious, sweet smelling, soft, innocent newborn is now a day older.  This will carry on for at least 2 weeks, then sporadically, perhaps for the rest of their lives.  Not that I am going to be the creepy mom from "Love You Forever", but sometimes I wish I could be...because as long as I'm living, my baby these boys will be.

I hold Mitch, and nurse him, and forget about everything else.  I let my other boys slightly destroy the house, piece by piece.  I don't even want to mention our current laundry situation.  Matt does the dishes every night because I can't possibly spare a moment to do them throughout the day.  I am only 2 pounds away from pre-baby weight because eating even takes a backseat to my newborn admiring, loving, kissing, obsessing time.  I'm annoyed he is not awake more so I can gaze into his beautiful eyes.  I am stressed I haven't photographed him enough, he changes every day, every hour, and I don't want to forget, or miss a moment. 
People continue to ask me if this is it for us.  If Mitch is our last baby.  I just cannot answer that question right now.  The thought that this might be the last time I ever experience the true joy, amazement and love of a brand new baby, is upsetting.  I go back to work too soon.  I have 3 other children to tend to, my time is all sucked up...these should all be reasons to not have another, but I don't see it that way.  Despite all of that, as we speak, I am holding my teeny baby, and I have never felt happier, more relaxed or less stressed.  I've said it before, newborns are like a therapeutic anti-anxiety medication to me.  I am in no rush to have another.  I will not be "trying for a girl".  But I am not taking anything off the table.  For now, I am enjoying my newest blessing.  I am looking forward to who he will become, but secretly hoping time will take a momentary hiatus, and stop moving for a bit.  And, until that happens, I will just hold my baby, rock him, love him, and cherish every newborn nuance, because babies don't keep.

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