When there are no more babies....

Messy, happy babies Even from the youngest age, I wanted to be a mother. Or a pediatric nurse. I loved babies. I loved nurturing. I made elaborate, cozy nests for my stuffed animals, played with my baby dolls for hours.

I dreamed of having at least six children--my favorite number was 8: Mommy + Daddy + 6 babies.

I intuitively knew how to tuck in deep to a baby's heart and imprint that little soul with love. I still do. Which is why, I guess, I burst into tears the other day.

I found a baby sock under some furniture and it was a jarring reminder that I don't have babies anymore.

There are no more Littles for me to rock to sleep, to breastfeed, to nurture.....They are all growing up--my youngest are five, now. My oldest, fourteen. That stage of my life is over. I can feel the childbearing years ending, the season of my life changing.

I don't mind growing older, necessarily. I don't mind surrendering to the natural course of life. After all, it was exhausting raising all those littles. I got PPD and whacked-out menstrual cycles. My immune system went down and I caught every cold and virus that came within 20 feet of my house.

I'm much healthier now. I have my body back. I'm strong and fit. But still, I'll never be "done" with children. I am a born nurturer. And inspirer. Sometimes it seems like the world doesn't really want or need a nurturer. I mean, can you make a living being a nurturer? I have all these nurturing skills and these writing skills and somehow, I'm not sure how to bring them together.....

So, I just volunteer wherever there's room for me. I help in the twins' kindergarten classroom. I teach a Sunday School class. I lector at Mass (because reading the Word aloud nurturers the soul of the listener). I hold writing workshops for kids at my dining room table.

Maybe I'm just feeling lost because I'm done having babies and I finished writing a book and I need a new project? HEY! Maybe I could be a "lifecoach" and nurture YOU?!

I don't know.

Do I just rest (I hate resting!)? Do I just wait it out (I hate waiting!)? Do I go back to school and become a nurse (but I'm horrible at math--at least, I think I am!)? I guess I could pray about this. There's a thought!