Some days are overwhelming.
Like yesterday. The baby in my daycare was happy ONLY when I was holding him. The second I put him down, he screamed. Every time I picked him up, he stopped. If he had been the only child in my daycare, I could have given him 100% of my time, but no baby needs to be held 100% of the time, and I had to attend to the other children in my daycare.
In my frustration, though, I remembered another little boy who frustrated me. I loved him with all my heart (still do), but for the first seven months of his life, when he wasn't eating or sleeping, he was crying.
And then he turned seven months. I remember the exact moment our lives changed. I walked into the bedroom after he had awoken from his nap. And there he was, gripping the railings of his crib with both fists, smiling so wide I thought his cheeks would split open. His arms and legs were shaking with excitement.
He had pulled himself up. He was finally upright. Apparently THIS ONE ACTION was all he needed to become a completely different baby. He was happy. He was smiling. And he remained that way for the duration of his babyhood.
James Hillman, in his book, The Soul's Code, discusses the destiny of a soul. The theory holds that every child is born with a destiny and that by staying true to the code, embedded in the core of who that child is supposed to be, the child will harmonize with the blueprint that is his soul's destiny. As parents or caregivers, we can either nurture that destiny or throw roadblocks in the child's path.
Often, when we feel helpless about our baby's frustrations, we have to hope and pray for a great deal of patience and understanding as they deal with things we can't understand. My son knew he was supposed to stand. He expected to stand. I think he was just impatient about how long the process was taking.
I think the baby in my daycare is frustrated at his inability to stand too, and that when he can stand upright on his own, I will see remarkable changes. Like my son, he will want to be out of my arms exploring the world.
Today, my son is a United States Marine, still standing tall. Since he enlisted in March of 2001, he's been to Iraq four times, he got married, and he has blessed me with three more grandchildren – I rarely get to see him (and his family), though, and I miss him terribly. Now I'm the one who wants to be held.