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What My Fictional Baby Teaches Me

March 18, 2011

It’s no secret that anyone who knows me knows I want kids.  Lots of kids.  But clearly now is not the time in my life for that.  So to cope with my deep yearning for children and the utter life inappropriate-ness of having a baby right now, I watch TLC’s A Baby Story.  It’s sort of become like a drug.  A small addiction.  A little too much more significant than a guilty pleasure.  Watching this show has become an antidote to the chaos and stress that seems to keep building in my life and work right now.

I have struggled lately with the concept that things in society sometimes get worse before they get better.  Sometimes people are naturally prone to reacting emotionally rather than rationally.  Sometimes people are prone to just reacting in general, even if a reaction may not be necessary at that time.  And although this very human trait is understandable, it doesn’t make it any less painful for the people on the other end who feel misrepresented and misunderstood.  Feeling like a somewhat misunderstood individual in the grander scheme of my profession right now, it has been a challenge to figure out how to respond.  It has been a challenge to feel valued.  It has been a challenge to continue to give my work my all but, quite frankly, I don’t know any other way to do it.  So I show up each day with the very best optimism and joy I can possibly present.  I dive into work two feet first, but by the end of the day I am left wading through a pool of hopelessness and doubt.  By the end of the day someone, or something, has peed in my pool.

Today I came home and watched an episode of A Baby Story.  I’m not ashamed to tell you that I cry each time one of those little bundles of screaming uterus goo comes out.  I cry when the baby is first placed on the mother’s chest.  When the parents say their first words.  I cry when the doctors and nurses shout, “Happy Birthday!”  During today’s episode I had the rare experience of thinking what I would say to my own baby if I had one.  What would I tell my child the moment it was placed in my arms?  What would be the first greeting or comfort I would want my little one to hear?  You know what came to mind:

It’s not so bad out here.

That was the first phrase that popped into my mind.  Sweet little baby, it’s not so bad out here.  Don’t cry, my little love.  It’s not so bad out here.  I would want my child to know that.  I would want him or her to have that knowledge as their first known comfort from Mommy.  It’s not so bad out here.

For all that has been going on to dishearten me lately, I have to admit how uplifting that first thought was for me today.  It was a little act of grace given to show me that, while my mind might be a little hardened right now, my soul is not.  My soul has hope.  My soul has joy.  My soul continues to guide me toward the optimism that I know exists in the world.  Today, it was almost as if God was saying to me, “don’t worry, Little One.  It’s not so bad out here.”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2011 8:36 pm

    Lauren – this is beautiful. You encourage me. And I cry every time I watch a TLC show, too.


  2. Lissa permalink
    March 18, 2011 8:58 pm

    Lauren – It is uncanny how you captured feelings I have trouble articulating myself (regarding my profession and so much more right now). What an absolutely lovely piece of writing. You still amaze me!

    • March 18, 2011 9:08 pm

      And I still blush at the praise of the teacher who impacted me most in my life. Thank you, Lissa.

  3. mom permalink
    March 18, 2011 9:25 pm

    I cry at every episode too honey…b/c it reminds me how precious life is and what a gift I was given with each of you.

  4. Jaena Barker permalink
    March 20, 2011 9:34 pm

    Love this….Lauren as you begin to have your own “mommy” thoughts, I continually think about how proud your mommy must be of you. 😉

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