Tibault & Toad

a baby is a wonderful baby

Can you tell which is which?

To be fair, Tennyson (on the right) is probably about 2 or 3 months older than Indigo was when her picture was taken. I love to compare their differences and similarities. I also think this photo is a very good representation of their personalities so far; Indy's expression is closed and skeptical, with a just a hint of scowl, while Tenny's expression is more open and good-natured, ready to break out into a gummy grin at any moment. Overall Indigo was a more "difficult" baby than Tenny, though I say that, truthfully, without even a sigh - we'd all prefer the "easy" baby, just as we'd all prefer no weeds in our garden and for that ring of dried milk on the bottom shelf of the fridge to just disappear on its own, but a baby is a baby is a wonderful baby. Sure there were moments where I buried my face in a pillow, but sometimes when every single parenting meme bemoans the 3 am wakeup and involves a glass of wine at noon, I find myself thinking but wait, I like being a parent. I understand that it's parents' way of connecting with each other through commiseration, and a little commiserating can go a long way in lifting our spirits when we're feeling a little discouraged. I also understand how it is funny. Believe me, I laugh at the memes, statuses and stories and even add my own, but I worry about contributing to our culture's stigma against having children. Perhaps people are just trying to shed light on the "reality" of parenting, but I don't really think parenting is in danger of being romanticized; almost everyone I know sees children as a burden and parenthood as an imposition on your life, to be avoided at all costs. Much to my sadness, it's a sentiment that seems as prevalent in the church as in the culture at large. The reason for the stigma is multi-faceted: we emphasize and exalt the individual and their personal goals, and we live in a convenience-culture where we want everything just how we want it with as little work as possible. Let's be honest, we've gone a little soft. Most of us (myself included) haven't had to work until sundown and then get up before the sun to go out and milk the cow. We've spent the last 100 or more years trying to make things as easy as possible, but we're no happier for it. Perhaps half the pleasure was in the hard work, the process? Perhaps most things worth doing have their fair share of difficulty. Parenting certainly does, and it's a unique and great responsibility (a whole human life!), but it's also rewarding, and dare I say it, downright fun. It is a worthwhile pursuit (understatement), it's better than freedom (whatever that means), and very full of joy, and I accept the hard work that can be a part of it as I accept that it is a part of all of life. I love my "easy" baby, and I love my "difficult" baby, and I'll love all the (God-willing) future babies, whatever their disposition, for a baby is a baby is a wonderful baby!

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