Several years ago, I was honored to be present for my nephew’s birth. The process of being there to coach and labor with my sister was an enormous gift for me. While I had three children and had already been teaching prenatal bonding for many years, I had never had the opportunity to attend a birth.
As I reminisce about the experience of Seth’s birth, I feel tremendous joy that I was able to be part of the village that supported my sister during labor and delivery and welcomed this special baby into the world. I was able to physically move my body with my sister’s to truly support her and be in union and in sync during her contractions. Labor is one of those experiences where you can feel so helpless and alone because no one can remove the pain (except with an epidural if chosen). It was my desire to be with her in a way that I could help absorb some of what she was going through. Connection is what we experienced. It was so beautiful.
Birthing a baby, as we know, is something that only a woman can do. It can be difficult for a man to see his partner in so much pain and not be able to “fix” it. It can be difficult for him to connect to the depth of what she is experiencing. Birth is hard. For my brother-in-law, having a village of support during this process allowed him to provide what he was most comfortable and experienced at providing … moral support, strength, love and presence. It was invaluable. Everyone had their gift to bring to the process and it was such a blessing.
Once my nephew was born, I had the opportunity to welcome him into the world and let him know that I could see him. How many of us go through life wanting to be seen for who we are? What a gift it would be if every baby could hear the words, “I see you and I know you have a gift for the world.” I feel so much gratitude to have had that opportunity.
As you go through your life and see children around you, no matter how young or old they are, take a moment to acknowledge them. Acknowledge that they have gifts to share with the world. There are simple ways to do that. Let them know you “see” them. This is such a beautiful way for us to support children in not forgetting the value they possess. And as you mingle with adults in your daily activities, you can choose to see them through the eyes of love as well. You can choose to see the baby and child they once were, realizing many adults have probably not yet felt “seen.” You can choose to see, acknowledge and love them in this moment.
A pebble when dropped in a pond creates a ripple effect far beyond where the pebble initially entered the water. In this same way, these gifts of love that we share with children and adults in our lives reach far beyond the individual that we are touching in that moment. We all enter this world as love. We have a candle in our belly. May we fan the flames and then take our candle into the world, igniting as many other candles as we possibly can. In this way we bring light and love to others. Children need us to be who we are and to acknowledge and support them in being who they are.
Traci L. Williams is the Founder of A Loving Way to Parent. She is known for her practical and intuitive parenting style. She can be reached at 951-240-1407 or email@example.com.