Don't Feel Bad

We just spent a few days at Eric's sister's house with most of the family celebrating Thankmas (combo Thanksgiving and Christmas).  It was the first time in many years that a baby was around and there was much anticipation to snuggling the new wee one.

Aunt Shawnda with Ben
One particular evening, Ben was a bit fussy.  I had been nursing for, I'm sure, 13 hours...and just needed a break from His Majesty.  Eric took Ben and started the long proven 'bounce/jiggle' that tends to calm little ones.  And, of course, it worked!  I was enjoying a quiet moment without a baby attached to me.  Zoe was sitting on the floor near my chair and looked at her daddy, then looked at me.  She said with such empathy, "Ya know, I think my dad just has more experience...because, ya know, we were babies before."

I paused.  I stared at her big, doe-like eyes.  I contemplated how to respond.  Didn't this little girl know I have been responsible for two babies before Ben?  Didn't this innocent, small human know that a mother's instinct can be stronger than any life-experience?  What about MY experience??  What about the hundreds of times over the last 12 weeks that I have calmed this particular, little baby??  What about the hours I spent in the middle of the night while everyone slept, except Ben and I?  Where was her uber-experienced daddy then??  Every sentence I formed in my mind, I thankfully realized, could have resulted in diminishing her awe of her daddy.  I just couldn't do that to either of them.  So I paused longer.  I asked her, "Zo...did you know that Ethan and Quinn were babies once, too?"  Her response was a soft, "yeah"...and if to say, "oh sweety...yes, but that's not the same" or maybe "awwww, you think you're experienced...how cute."  My mouth dropped open, but there was really nothing that could be said, at that point.

And that's when it hit me.  There's really nothing that could be said, at that point.  See, she is still at that beautiful stage where she truly believes that her father can do a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g!  Her dad can answer any question -- and be RIGHT.  Her dad can solve any problem and resolve any dispute.  Her dad can kiss away tears and his embrace can soothe hurt feelings.  Her dad can battle imaginary monsters and squash real bugs.  With a brush of his strong hand against her delicate cheek, she knows everything will be all right.  She can trust it.  Her dad is the best protector and can rescue anyone without even riding a horse!  She will measure all men against her dad...and rightly so.  Her dad has, in fact, hung the very moon.

As I sit here, Eric is playing Mannheim Steamroller (I mentioned a few days ago how much I love them) because he knows I've just had a rough couple hours....yeah, I guess he does know a thing or two.

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