Having a baby at 40 must be something like having your first grandchild. The feeling of love and wonder has a different taste from the birth of your children at a younger age. There are other questions on your mind when you look at this child. I taught my first two kids not to fuss so much, not to cry when they were babies, but this one knows someone will pick him up if he cries.
What do very young people think about when they have a baby? I remember really wanting to have children when I was in college, wanting to have my kids in my early twenties and I think it would have been great.
I had tons of energy and a fountain of hope for my future. I was very focused on being great at whatever I was doing. But the love of my life was otherwise occupied and I got very, very far off track.
When I finally had my first kids I was 29 and 31 - I had much less energy and very little hope. By then I was lost deep in the woods and unsure what it was I'd hoped for before. Every year that passed saw me walking further away from whatever I'd wanted - except being a Mommy. That always suited me.
Yet I think about my first two and the mother they had as babies. I liked to play with them and show them the world - I think they got a great sense of adventure from an early age, but I was often unhappy and I was like a child myself, looking to my husband to take care of all three of us. He did for many years.
Feeding them was a chore, bathing them was a pain. Bed time was Dad's job. Any responsibility that came with the joy and beauty of those babies was something I happily pawned off on someone else. It is a miracle I breastfed those kids.
Jacob has a different mother entirely. I cherish each moment with him. Cleaning his poopy diapers, feeding him, listening to his yells or squeals, giving him baths, getting him to bed, getting him up in the morning. He is almost a year old and I still look at him and can not believe that I get to be his mother.
Most of all it's the ways in which he is like his Dad that choke me up and make me fall in love with him. He sings to himself, just like his Daddy. He loves music, claps to it, dances to it. He curls his toes under his feet. He put his hands into fists and squeezes all of his muscles in excitement at times when he is overwhelmed with emotion. He laughs easily and loves to play. He gets scared easily. He is a huge flirt. He reminds me so much of his Daddy and I love him for it.
Once I really got the hang of it - when the kids were 6 and 4 - I usually felt two kids were very manageable. Those two were my buddies in life and I enjoyed being with them - the two days a week I had to share them with their Dad were often unbearable to me.
But there are many more kids now. I don't know that I have learned how to manage five kids yet or even three kids. I can see it on the horizon though.