Baby Girl says “Rock”: Death has a Funny Way of Making Us Appreciate Life

rocking

This article was also featured on the Huffington Post!  You can find it here. 

Baby Girl says “Rock”: Death has a Funny Way of Making Us Appreciate Life

I just wanted to eat the dark chocolate truffle and enjoy my glass of red wine in peace. And then finish my late-night chores. But before I could take the first bite, I caught her sneaking down the hall. Pigtails high on her head. Pink striped pajamas on her body. Blanket trailing behind. It was her third successful attempt. She gave a shy smile and then put her head down. She knew she wasn’t supposed to be jumping out of her crib.

It was 10pm. I needed a shower. Dishes needed washing, I wanted that piece of dark chocolate, and I was tired of putting my babies to bed, and then re-putting them to bed, and then re-putting them to bed.

Sighing, I scooped up all 23 pounds of her one-year old body and carried her to the room she shares with her four-year old brother. Tip-toeing over piles of books and discarded dinosaurs, I approached her crib.

My intent was to once again place her on her pink-gingham sheet, sternly say goodnight, and let her cry herself to sleep.

But then she said, “rock.”

The nightlight provided enough brilliance for me to see her tiny index finger pointing to the over-sized chair in the corner of the room.

I hesitated.

And I remembered.

I remembered that three years ago, after my miscarriages and after being told I’d never have children again, I had pleaded with God to give me one more child to rock.

So, I rocked her. This child that God had given me.

She fell into my body as I fell into in the over-sized rocking chair. Like a magnet, her beating heart and my beating heart met. Her tiny face fell on my shoulder and her arms enveloped me in a hug. I was glad that I had chosen bliss over chores.

Death has a funny way of making us appreciate life. Grief has surrounded my family, just like it surrounds every family. I’ve cried many tears, but I’ve also learned to smile many smiles.

Baby Girl is named after my husband’s younger sister. And in memory of her untimely and much-too-early death I will choose to cherish the “here & now” of my daughter instead of worry over the list of to-dos. Life is fragile. We aren’t promised tomorrow.

After two miscarriages, I was told I would probably never have children again. But Baby Girl is proof that dreams do come true. And in honor of this grace-given gift, I will choose to cherish “the here & now” of my daughter instead of worry over the list of to-dos.

The dishes can wait. The weeks worth of soiled clothing lurking in laundry baskets can wait another day. And the shower can wait. Why worry about shining the sink when I can breathe in the fragrance of my child? Because this moment- it’s something I’ll never get back.

So when Baby Girl says, “rock” I will rock.

I’ve learned that cherish is a choice. Sometimes it is hard. Cherishing takes effort; it goes against our nature of productivity, worry, and selfishness.

It means we have to stop. It means we have to be still.

It means we get to rock.


A Deeper Look:

Luke 13:38-41

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feed and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.”  And Jesus answered, “Martha, Martha you are worried and troubled with many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Don’t we all get a bit too distracted with worry and easily forget the important work?

I’m proud to link this post up with Suzie Eller’s #livefree Thursday. 

The topic this week was “why worry?”  My take is…why worry when we can choose to cherish. 

http://tsuzanneeller.com/

Live Free Thursday

About Sarah

Sarah Lewis Philpott, Ph.D lives in the south on a sprawling cattle farm where she raises her two mischievous children (and one little baby!) and is farm wife to her high school sweetheart. It's quite the chaotic household, but she adores the blessings God has provided. Sarah is represented by The Blythe Daniel Literary Agency. Her book, Loved Baby: 31 Devotions for Helping you Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss, will be published in October '17 by Broadstreet Publishing. You'll be able to find it on Amazon, at Barnes & Nobles, and at other book retailers. She's a lover of coffee (black), rocking chairs, the outdoors, and Hemingway. Visit with Sarah at her All-American Mom blog where she writes about life on the farm and cherishing life in joy & in sorrow.

22 thoughts on “Baby Girl says “Rock”: Death has a Funny Way of Making Us Appreciate Life

  1. So beautiful! I have been privileged to make the same choice you did many nights with my youngest baby, and I don’t regret a single one! Yes, there are so many things that demand attention, but cherishing the moment is more important. There’s a poem my mom taught me when I was little, and I’ve recited a time or two to my kiddos:

    “Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow, for babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow. So quiet down, cobwebs; dust, go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby, ’cause babies don’t keep.” – Unknown

  2. Sarah, this touched my heart. Now I wish my kids were home from school so I could pull them onto the couch and read them a book. I need to do better at not taking for granted these nighttime routines…they’re only for a few short years. Thanks for this beautiful reminder.

  3. This touched me so much today. Last night I wept for my children. My 2 daughters are the joy of my life but both are developmentally and learning disabled and frankly, I have no idea what the future holds. I know that God has them in his hands, but it’s a lesson I need to remind myself over and over. They were in bed, and whatever we were watching set me off, so I cried in my husband’s arms. That’s my least safest time: when they are in bed, because when they are around, I am busy cherishing my hear and now with them. Snuggling the last few years of my 9yo’s childhood, gently guiding my 12yo through new maturity and making the most of every moment now. Thank you.

  4. Sarah! I rarely tear up when I read. Period. I’ve read your last two blogs and cried with both…You have a way with your words that touches me deeply. So good. So so good.

    I’ve always been one to rock as long as my babies will allow me to do so. My son will be five in just over a week. Although he tells me my lap is no longer “comforbal,” I still sit beside his bed every night and hold his hand as he goes to sleep. Thank you friend for your sweet words.

    1. Ahhh, Heather. I hate to keep making you cry. Someone told me, “you seem so happy to always be writing about grief.” I guess I’m the peppy grief girl. Ha. Anyways, your kind comments mean the world to me. I agree sister- I will rock, hold, and read as long as they will allow. I think maybe, as writers, it just part of our soul to cherish and capture.

  5. I’ve never rocked my children to sleep. They’ve nursed to sleep and cuddled to sleep but we’ve never rocked. Until recently, shortly after becoming pregnant with my 4th and coming to a trying time with my 3rd, I remember asking him during one tumultuous bedtime “You want to rock with me?” And we did, and I took in that moment and the realization that he would not be my baby for much longer.

    It is definitely the little moments that make life wonderful. It’s sometimes hard to cherish every second, but those little moments can be big reminders of what it’s all about!

  6. Sarah, Your words are so elegant and your story so true! I found your blog from my cousin Cathy Philpott and am so blessed for it. Our family has been through a lot the last couple years, but you are so right all that matters is family and I’m so blessed all my children are healthy and no matter their age they can be hugged or called and reminded how loved they are!! Thank you!!!

  7. this is such a powerful post.. girl… your writing is amazing. i do not have children, but this was a great reminder to cherish life! ps: i will always rock michelle’s kiddos 🙂

  8. Oh Sarah what a blessed gift you’ve been given…in so many ways…praise God you did cherish the moment for truly they are gone before we blink our eyes!….with both girls grown and moms on their own I would love to rock them just one more time. God did bless as our older daughter was in her 20s and having a panic attack…she curled right up on my lap and yes….we rocked! …knowing the situation you know that’s a memory beyond treasure….our younger daughter will still let me stroke her hair when we visit…at 32 again a Mommys treasure for ever and ever…Young Moms I know you are more than busy but please take time to find that special “something” that’s just yours and your childs….you will be blessed beyond measure….for ever…..

  9. Beautiful post Sarah!!!! I can relate oh so closely. I am often guilty of not cherishing these times, as it seems life just gets too busy. And I always have a to do list. There is no other feeling like when your little one (or big one) curls up next to you and you feel your heartbeats connect. I have talked about that feeling before and it saddens me greatly to think of a time that they will be too big to cuddle with me. Maybe this is why I can can’t bring myself to force my big one into his own bed :). Thanks for sharing I love this!

  10. Great post and so true. I have also loved and lost and have to fight hard to be present in the moment. Glad you were able to connect with your daughter in that special moment. Loss certainly changes the way we see things. #livefree

  11. Oh Sarah! This was just so beautiful in every way…

    I am so deeply touched by your story and your mama heart. Thank you for this inspiration and message.

  12. I have to say Thank YOU! For this post! Sometimes I get so caught up in all the ways my kids are having me fall behind that I forget to be thankful for their noise, their chaos, and their laughter. I needed to read this today!

  13. Beautiful Sarah. Loved this from beginning to end. I, too had 6 miscarriages and was never to have a child. I had a son and daughter both grown now and now each one has a son. I am loving rocking those babies and spending so much special time with them – lingering and pondering on those precious memories of the past. Savor them. They are gone in a moment.

  14. Sarah,
    I remember rocking my babies. I love it! I loved rocking little Sophie to sleep in the theater the other day. She had gone between me and mom several times. Toward the end of the movie, she was in my lap and I was rocking her and she held her little hands up to my face and I was kissing them over and over with tiny little kisses and before I knew it she fell asleep while I was kissing her hands. She had her eyes closed and a little smile on her face. Cherish the moments….I love to rock any child, any day. There is just something about it. Holding them close and enjoying the moment is more precious than gold….

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