Parenthood In A Word: Calming

I’ve been thinking a lot about words that describe being a parent, at least as I’ve experienced it in these first four months. I’ve got some pretty deep ones like “sacrifice” and funny ones like “slimy,” but I figured I’d start with something just plain adorable.

Today’s word is “calming.” I know it goes against what you hear most about parents being stressed or exhausted. Those are par for the course and don’t really need to be said again. I’m going to talk about the opposite end of that spectrum. There are moments during the day when I am absolutely frazzled and stressed. Sometimes that’s because of the baby and sometimes it has nothing to do with her. I get stressed because I’m a worrier, a little paranoid and get freaked out when it feels like things are piling up or I feel like I’m losing control which tends to happen every few weeks (maybe more if you ask my wife).

And then sometimes I look over at Lucy and she makes everything better. She’s got those huge blue eyes which make me smile even when she’s not flashing a grin at me. And then when she does smile at me? Oh man, that’s a boost. She’s even starting to laugh a little. It’s really more of a happy squeal, but you get the idea. When she does that it’s absolutely heartmelting. How can you be bummed out, mad or freaking out when something so cute is in your midst? Even if for just a few minutes, it’s a much needed distraction that I’m eternally thankful for.

Today was one of those stressful days. I don’t want to get into the details because they might not even be that big of a deal, but even the potential for trouble can build up and lead to stress. As I sat in the rocking chair holding Lucy she was getting a little fussy. I realized she was sleepy so I put her up on my shoulder and gave her some rocking. She nuzzled right up and fell asleep and I’ve been feeling pretty mellow ever since. I think I can deal with all that other crap now.