The Perfect Baby
By Brenda Black
“The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes...” Oh the bliss. Mary was indeed highly esteemed. For the rest of us, baby days are full of wonder in different ways. We are favored with little bundles of tears and tummy aches, yet still count ourselves blessed for the privilege of motherhood.
No child is the same. One baby builds confidence, the next brings challenges. If one tries your nerves, another will be your stabilizer. No matter their temperaments, each child delivers his or her own delightful presence in this world.
My first was colicky and cranky for about twelve months! I did not sleep and was irritable myself. I cried nearly as much as the baby and rocked both of us for comfort. At about a year, that little stinker turned into the most peaceful, loving, easy-going little boy I've ever known. To this day, he is dependable and kind. He is loving and friendly. And he can sleep without any trouble!
My second seemed like a breeze when it came to sleep. For all the times I rocked the first, the second insisted I leave him be. However, baby number two capitalized on being well rested. He moved continuously in his waking hours! Running, leaping, rolling and twisting didn't begin after walking – he started before he was born!
Somehow the second seemed easier in spite of his boundless energy, mostly because I had my little helper. Big brother was my second set of hands, eyes and ears. One year of colic was worth every proud moment our first-born has since brought to our lives. And every minute of exhaustion brought us a high-energy, talented, delightful second child.
With the honor of motherhood comes happiness as well as heartache. The moaning of a herd of cows just outside my window illustrates some of the anguish. They loudly announce weaning season with their desperate bellows. In the guttural chorus are songs of separation anxiety that all mothers experience when calves or kids begin to grow and go their own way.
The instinct to protect never ends. A desire to catch them before they fall or kiss all hurt away is protocol for Moms as vividly depicted in “The Passion” during a scene where Mary labors between helping her child and avoiding the horror. As the Christ falls under the burden of a bloodied cross, Mary recalls running to her son when he tumbled as a child on a similar dusty road. She goes to her Son and lifts him once again.
That's what Moms do. We carry the burdens like they were our own. We live through every pain as if afflicted ourselves. We rejoice in their victories, soaking up the success.
It would be nice if babies came with a guarantee of no colic, no tears, no toddler crashes, no teenage tragedies. It would be comforting to not have to worry over mean bosses or deceitful friends. We'd like to think our child's life a bed of roses. But in the end, such a child is spoiled and weak. For all of life's experiences shape them into men and women we'll respect and upon which we may even depend.
Jesus may have begun life with no tears, but he grew to become “a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.” (Isaiah 53:3) Though any mother would have wished for anything but the steps he took, had he not walked them, we would be without hope. As his own mother depended on her son's redemption, we likewise need a Savior.
Whether your child is easy or challenging is a minor point. That his mother is forgiven and godly will chart the course for that child's life. Ask King Lemuel:
“The sayings of King Lemuel – an oracle his mother taught him: 'O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.
“'It is not for kings, O Lemuel – not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights...
“'Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.'” (Proverbs 31:1-5, 8-9)
Wise counsel from a mom who knew it's not how they start out in life. It's where they end up in eternity. Show them true peace by the way of the cross this Mother's Day and always.