Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Babies Are Good For Marriage #ilovebabies

Over our recent vacation, I was sitting in the dark, nursing. Stephen and I had just finished watching a  movie (which was interrupted about 1,000 times, by children, children children, but what can you do, besides love, cuddle, correct, and finally, put them to bed- all while you watch something worthwhile as a couple?). I was still sniffling from the ending music and credits, which surprisingly brought forth a waterfall.

I was reflecting on the movie and the events of that day, and as I held our fifth child and cradled her in my arms, my thoughts eventually settled on this thesis: Babies are good for marriage.

Why? What happened amidst the cuddling, pottying, wiping, tucking in, rocking, watching, and finally, lights out, that caused me to land there?

Well, something humbling, and some would say embarrassing, happened. But, when you're used to being singled out daily for having five kids, you don't get embarrassed - or dare I say it- Humbled, as often as you once did. (You might become miffed when you're not God's gift... #somepeoplegetallthecompliments #goodgrief) But you know humble isn't such a bad thing. Now is it?!

I was swimming in the pool. Stephen had taken two of our kids to see Finding Dory, and I had taken the other three to the swimming pool right before Annabel's nap. I had looked for her baby bathing suit, but in the heat of the moment, I couldn't find it. "Oh well," I thought.... "Another day."

So, we lazily strolled to the swimming pool, and upon entering I saw a large sign: "No babies allowed." I'm pretty sure that's what it said: it may have actually been phrased a bit differently. Something like, "Only Potty-trained children allowed in THIS pool."

It was a scorcher. I was pouring sweat. I watched the littles swim, and kept an eye on the baby.

Wouldn't you know it, a couple of minutes later, I was being singled out for *not* putting my baby into the pool. Two very overweight women came up to me and said, "Oh dear, isn't she so hot?" And "It is such a hot day, wouldn't that baby like a swim?!"

Then, as you do, I took the baby out of her stroller and started dipping her toes in the water.

A slightly overweight woman wearing a Business shirt came over to me, almost immediately, with her teenage-boy-trainee to boot. She singled me out and loudly admonished me. She did not even bother to be kind or use nice manners. She got mad, she asked me to take the baby out. Eventually, she let me know that there was a baby pool, where she would like for me to reside, but she had to huff and puff at me for a while first!!!

Essentially, the exchange went like this:
"Ma'am, we do not allow babies in this pool. They are absolutely forbidden to swim or get into this pool.  We just had a floater the other day, and had to empty out the entire pool to get it cleaned up."
I said, "Well, that's awful ma'am. But can't you just let them dip their toes in? She's hot just like you and me!" (As I mentioned, she wasn't even wearing a bathing suit, but I had a swim diaper in tow.)

{chew me out here}

"Go try the baby pool over THERE." {Now: does this strike anyone else as slightly um, HYPOCRITICAL? There were *FOUR* pools in this little community of condos and beach houses. Only *one* of the pools did not allow babies.}

Walks away, acting very chilly toward me.

Me: (in the heat of the moment, heart racing)
-Shuts down internet-free Kindle Paperwhite*- given to me by Stephen for my last birthday.
-Slings ROCK STAR towel over stroller to block the glaring heat from my baby, who was now beginning to sweat.
-Jumps in pool to cool off, and....
-Begs Molly and Madeleine to get out of said wonderful pool.
-Throws swim diaper on a bush, in direction of lady.
-Leaves with kids crying in tow, because they wanted to keep swimming.

As we are walking away, Molly asked me, "Mommy, why did we have to leave so soon?"
"I don't know, Molly," I said.
She kept pestering me with questions all the way back to our house.
I said,  as I cuddled poor Annabel back at our beach house: "Molly, sometimes things don't work out the way we'd planned.  We have to get better at dealing with disappointment. But the truth is, we had to leave because babies aren't welcome there."

And that said, as we walked to another pool on the premises that -strangely- did allow babies, I realized deep down in my spirit that it was the God-honest truth.  Babies are discriminated against here.

As I looked around our resort, day after day I saw families come out of the bungalows. All of them proudly toting their Boy and their Girl.

"Oh man," I thought. "The culture here is oozing Small Families."

That night, we watched the movie Brooklyn, and I'm not a cryer, but I sobbed through the end of this movie. It was so sweet and touching, and it was nearly a perfect screenplay (written by Nick Hornby).  In addition to highly recommending that you go watch this movie, I will warn you : no, it's not about having 5 million babies... but it will make you think about the brevity of life, and how quickly kids grow up. Oh, and, it does also happen to depict a very large Italian-Catholic family of something like seven boys. ;)

And after the Incident of the day, and the movie that night, I just could not stop thinking, "Babies are good for marriage." I just kept repeating that in my head over and over. Why?

Because Babies are good for humanity.

I've learned from my youngest that she isn't the baby I was expecting, exactly, but she was the baby I needed. She has brought us together in ways previously unimaginable. She brings out a love in us that was not there before.

She isn't convenient. She pooped in the bath and threw up out of nowhere the other day.

What are you gonna do.

(Put a swim diaper on her maybe?!?!)

Putting her needs before us each day, each night of her short 10 months (so far) on this earth has been beautiful, humbling, challenging, and deeply entertaining. She has pushed both me and Stephen outside our comfort zones.  She has made us put aside our own agendas, our own needs, our own perfect world, our own ideas. She has given us sleepless nights and harried days. She has stretched our budgets and our patience, even more so. But most of all, she has stretched our hearts.

My heart is bigger -- MUCH bigger-- because Annabel is in this world.

She has brought us together in ways previously unimaginable. She has made us laugh together and cry (me) and marvel (him) together. She has made us smile countless times. I promise you: if your marriage is on the rocks, a baby will do it wonders of good.
And guess what?

That's a good thing.



Now I know that God allowed this encounter between myself and the woman manning that pool. I know He goes behind and before. Every conversation like this has a purpose if we are seeking God's will and we trust Him.  I honestly think although it doesn't happen all the time, sometimes? I think that my baby- and me- we were discriminated against for a reason.

Why? Well, I think it's because Babies are good for marriage.

* I try to read at least 4 books/month
Linking up with Tuesday Talk


vkochis said...


Awesome. Sorry this happened to you, but by golly. I love it.

Tacy said...

thanks Ginny!!! :0)

Rose said...

Once again I love to read what you write Tacy! Thanks. xox

Tacy said...

Thanks Rose! :-) I really appreciate your words of kindness. Have a great day!