I traveled five hours to go to my sister’s baby shower. There were probably 25 people there, 3 were pregnant, and one was 7 weeks old. I got to hold the 7 week old one for the whole party! I put him to sleep. I actually have a reputation for having “the touch” and putting babies to sleep.
I think I got that from my dad and from Mrs. Across-the-street. Mrs. Across-the-street had four kids and lived across the street from 2nd grade to 6th grade. My sister (yes, the one with the baby shower for her 2nd baby) was born when I was in 4th grade. Baby Sister had colic. Mrs. Across-the-street would take screaming Baby Sister and put her to sleep. She patted with a rhythm that I can copy but can’t describe. I can’t describe it because when I stop to think about it, I mess up. When I don’t even think about it but just do it, it is perfect.
After the shower, Baby Sister and I went running an errand and she talked about me putting the baby to sleep. Then she reminded me about when my niece (who is 3) was a baby and screaming, I said, “Here, give her to me. You need a break.” And screaming niece gradually calmed down and finally went to sleep.
I think somewhere in those experiences, there is for me, a vision of God. When I am too inarticulate to express my needs except by screaming at the top of my lungs, God has the patience to pat and rock and be quiet so that I can find enough calm to finally sleep in arms of love.