The Freshmaker

It’s official – maternity leave is over.  The transition back hasn’t been too painful so far.  I’m fortunate to live so close to home, and that my baby is just about the best and easiest little guy ever.  Not only has he slept as many as eight hours overnight, he’s waking up to eat just when I need him to, and sleeping at the best times of the day to have a sleepy baby.  He’s been awake, for the most part, from 5 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., so I’ve gotten a good hunk of baby Hank lovin’ the last two nights.

After the other two kiddos went to sleep last night, I took Henry out for a walk.  It was a really beautiful night after some storms blew through, a cool breeze and sailor’s sunset.  Henry has grown to like the Baby Bjorn, and I prefer it to packing him up in the stroller… mostly because I can play with his feet and chubby thighs and kiss his cute little head.  We walked around Ashland for about an hour, running into a few friends while we were out.  It’s one reason I love living here– wherever you go, you are bound to run into a friendly face. 

I’m glad to admit that I’m excited to be back at work, especially with the residency just ten days away.  There’s a lot that needs to be done before then, and after the residency, I have some ideas for recruitment and promotion along with program development that I’m looking forward to exploring.  I can’t ask for a much better situation with my job and family life.  By the time Henry goes to sleep, I’m definitely tired, but the energy spent after work is even more valuable than the energy spent at work.  It reminds me of a verse in Ecclesiastes — “Sow your seeds in the morning and at night let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which one will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”

I try to live this way, even though sometimes the lines blur and I find myself checking and responding to email after hours.  Okay, so that happens all of the time.  More often than the reverse, morning work intrudes on evening work.  Someone somewhere (real specific, right?) said not to forget to live while you are earning a living.  Maybe Dave Ramsey.  Anyway, the last couple of days have been full, no doubt, but they have been full in a great way — work has been fulfilling, walks and dinner and books with my kids, satisfying the needs of my newborn, watching the All-Star game with my husband, even getting some writing done — this is the way I’d like to live all of the time.  Don’t you feel like you are in the middle of a Mentos commercial right now?  But really, if I could maintain this kind of balance all of the time, I could testify regularly to the statement, “godliness with contentment is great gain.”

I’m going to take Solomon’s advice now, and eat my food (strawberry shortcake) with gladness, and drink my wine (merlot) with a joyful heart… and then sleep.  Tomorrow’s a full day.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

One thought on “The Freshmaker

  1. So glad the transition has been smooth! I feel like summer has been flying…just trying to enjoy it all but also somewhat looking forward to the time when we'll be forced to be indoors again just for the quiet:)


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