A mother-of-five has taken to Facebook with a letter so love-filled, it went viral overnight.
Author Jen Hatmaker reflects about the birth of her third child, sharing an adorable time-hop image to match. She writes: “This is me in a hospital bed in 2002 having delivered my third baby Caleb five hours earlier. The ‘big kids’ came to meet him and crawled in bed with me. I found this pic yesterday and shed tears upon tears for every baby in this picture.”
The post introduces her then two-year-old daughter Sydney, whose reaction to the family’s new edition is heart-wrenchingly cute. “She was still in diapers. She had just been evicted from her crib because there was a new sheriff coming to town named Caleb” — But that didn’t phase the toddler who instantly fell in love with her baby brother, proclaiming him as her own. She couldn’t understand why she wasn’t allowed to hold him, and would have “meltdowns” at their separation.
“Look at her snuggled into her mom. I could bawl and never stop,” Hatmaker gushes.
Next, we meet 4-year-old Gavin, the eldest, “sunniest, happiest, most delightful boy.” Gavin had a huge vocabulary and was something of a miniature man. “I kissed him 300 times a day.”
“The tears for my babies come quick. I can literally feel the phantom weight of them leaning against me with their snow-white hair and baby skin. I remember exactly how they felt in my arms. Exactly. My life’s joy. I can hardly look at their little faces.”
Hatmaker’s post suddenly takes an introspective turn as she honours her past-self.
“But most of my tears are for that young mama. She was 27 years old and five hours removed from delivering her third baby in four years. She was sore and tired and stitched, but she pulled those big babies into her bed to snuggle and read to them so they knew they were still her moon and stars.”
“There was never, ever enough of her to go around, but God have mercy did she try.”
“The world feels like a terrifying monster out to harm and steal and injure your babies,” Hatmaker continues. “And you alone can keep them from eating pennies and avoiding bullies — and obviously the onus is on you to not drive your car into a body of water with them all strapped into their car seats, a highly likely scenario I imagined no less than 7,098 times. You are their guardian and protector and God help anyone who comes between a young mama and her little charges.”
The post resonated with many, edging close to 90,000 reactions on Facebook. Hatmaker made sure to use her platform to tell struggling new parents that they are enough.
“You are doing a breathtaking, beautiful job. Your children are so loved and they know it.”
“They are safe with you, absolutely cherished. This isn’t from one big thing you do; it comes from the million minutes you love them well. That’s it. All your mistakes and meltdowns won’t change it. You are raising healthy, loved, secure kids – it will matter so much. It lasts. It sticks. It is the air they breathe from that first day in the hospital, and you can’t undo it.”