Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Satisfied

It's 3:15 am and the three week old baby wakes me with cries that are impossible to be ignored. I carry the angry lump of flesh to the rocking Lazy-Boy in the living room and bear my breast. I look towards the front porch light shining through the semi-circle window in the front door and will myself in the now-quiet to not forget what this feels like. My offspring small in my arms, milk rushing in answer to infant cry, nature taking over. I close my eyes and try to memorize the feel of it in my stomach and my lungs and knees.

I'm rocking now and humming a made-up tune, and my mind has wandered and I'm already not paying attention. I'm so tired. When I lift my small daughter to burp, she strikes the pose; you know the one. Every newborn does it: the head lolling back slightly with fists to the ears, elbows in the air by her temples. Her little arched back pushes a miniature diapered hiney out, legs drawn up. Her eyes are closed and a lazy half smile accompanies the trickle of milk that never got swallowed that spills over her cheek. I think in yoga it's called "Satisfied Infant." All three of mine did it, and it always made me giggle. I used to say they were drunk on breast milk.

What a difference twenty minutes makes to the belly of a hungry infant.

I remember it all tonight, from the bathtub, wearily wiggling my aching toes in the warm water. After I filled the fridge with an absurd amount of leftovers, and put bags of discarded wrappings and trappings to the curb. The silver's now cradled again in its velvet chest, the dishwasher's humming, and I lean back into the water, with that same satisfied almost-grin. Downstairs there are random stacks of opened presents, and a counter of pie and cakes with missing pieces.

And I remember what it feels like in my stomach, my lungs, my knees to see a hungry infant satisfied. I remember the light shining into the darkness of my quiet three-o'clock-in-the-morning-living room. The Light shined again into my tired living room today on the same baby girl and Momma almost thirteen years later. Weightless in the water, I think back over today and giggle. I must be drunk on perfect Love come rushing down.

What a difference a Christmas Day makes in the soul a Savior-starved sinner.

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