Saving for Never

Brooke Borton shares a reflection after spending a few weeks with her newborn.

I was sitting on the couch this morning, baby asleep in my arms, trying to come up with a clever Facebook status to post about the multitude of baby fluids present on my shirt and sweatpants. I could say something about seeing every side of my son… no, not funny enough. I could quip that I probably won’t get to take a shower until tomorrow… no. Still not funny enough. But why should I complain?

I’m not invalidating my own feelings—it’s pretty gross to have poop, pee, and vomit on your clothes, much less all at once. I have every right to be perturbed, but suddenly I realized that I have the right to other things, too. Like hugging my kids before I put them to bed or watching them play in the sprinkler on a warm summer day. Smiling as I listen to my husband sing and play guitar down in our basement, his smooth, spot-on vocals drifting through the walls and into every room in the house. I have a right to things such as these. What if they were suddenly taken from me?

What if I yelled at my kids every night because they fought bedtime? What if I didn’t let my kids play in the sprinkler because it was a waste of water? What if I interrupted my husband’s singing to demand quiet time?

What if I moaned and groaned about my almost 4-week-old son’s proclivity to douse me in every runny horror imaginable before noon?

I most definitely wouldn’t be cherishing every moment he’s alive, the good and the bad. And I wouldn’t be thinking about how it could all be taken from me.

Sandy Hook. Columbine. 9/11. Virginia Tech. The Oklahoma Federal Building. The Boston Marathon.

These words evoke an emotion in me that I can’t contain. It’s been mere weeks since the last incident. When and where will the next one be, and will it be the one that steals away my rights to be with my family, whole and wholeheartedly? Will I save my angry words and tuck them quietly away into never as I tuck my kids into their beds? Will I revel in the perfectly strong voice that won me over ten years ago and sit in my easy chair, falling in love with my husband all over again? Will I hold my newborn close and be thankful I got to bring him home?

All these things seem so big compared to what I tend to exaggerate. I’m pinching myself right now—I can’t believe my son will be a month old this week. What have I done with his life so far?

What complaints will you save for never?

Brooke Borton enjoys life at home with her husband, two girls ages 5 and 7, a newborn baby boy, and two cats. She and her husband celebrated their fifth anniversary in October, shortly before her 30th birthday, and their favorite holiday is (of course) Halloween. She attended Adrian College and JCC, studying English, Spanish, and nursing, and plans to pursue her degree again only after her tenure in the ever-busy position of stay-at-home mom. Brooke has worked in various professions including retail management, fast food, medical transcription, and medical reception, and managed her own photography business for three years before making the choice to stay home indefinitely with her young girls. She thinks the best way to learn is through trial and error and “just jumping in.”
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