The Whirlwind of Newborns

One of my best friends became a mother this week. She used to be one of "our teens" when we were in youth ministry. Her childhood home is just a few blocks from ours and she often came over after school to hang out with me. We'd listen to Jack Johnson (hello 2005!) and play cards for hours. We weren't an obvious pair. She was quiet and wore "boy clothes" in those years and I had highlights and was as chatty as ever. But our ying/yang vibe always worked and I find that many of my closest friends are similar in temperament to my dear Tim. 
She hasn't been one of "our kids" in a long time, pretty seamlessly transitioning into one of my peers. We still love to play cards though it's much harder since I brought kids into the mix 8 years ago. I was at her wedding and helped throw her baby shower. And I had the honor of being one of her darling son's first visitors. And as I was driving to the hospital to meet him, I was taken back to my own post-partum experiences. Reflecting on how I've been influenced by the experiences of motherhood and then specifically by the personhood of each of my daughters, I wrote this:

Motherhood obliterates you
Then stitches you back together
You're still you, technically
But everything is in a slightly different place

This little creature has destroyed you
and made you infinitely better
You've never been so vulnerable,
this extension of you out in this 
big, scary world.

How can you control it all,
keep them safe, help them grow?
You've never been so big, so bold
Fierce to the death, you speak
when you would have stayed silent
Fight when you would have conformed

On behalf of this bewitching creature
you wouldn't hesitate to go to war
So small, so mighty, these few pounds
of dependent humanity
change every cell in your body.

In love, entranced, you orbit
around them, every sigh, every sneeze
is breath-taking.
Even their shit is cute.
Babies turn hard asses to mush
and pushovers into warriors.

These magical creatures are mesmerizing
They keep you up, soak you in vomit
Those first few months take you to your knees
They shatter you, they heal you,
They take you to the brink of insanity.

Yet in that fog, there is pure,
unadulterated bliss
Every time you breathe in 
that spicy scalp or feel their 
tiny chest rise and fall against yours
Those tiny toes, their skin that folds
Their sweet, persistent suckle.

The most enchanting drug in the world?