The greatest gift is time
The greatest gift is time

The greatest gift is time

I recently attended both a wedding and a baby shower on the same weekend. As I was wrapping both gifts, I couldn’t help but think about what those two women really needed. The perfect baby shower or baby shower gift isn’t something that can be wrapped in pretty paper.

Sure, newlyweds need pans to cook in, and babies need blankets to snuggle up in. Yes, soft towels are cute, and baby rompers might be the cutest clothes anyone could ever buy. However, what both new brides and new moms need could never be found in a registry.

The only gift that turns today’s joy into a lifetime of love is the gift of time.

That new wife may not know what to cook in her new pans for her husband or guests, but with practice, she willlasts. The new mom may not know how to soothe a squirmy baby in his pajamas in the middle of the night. After weeks of training, he willlasts.

The new wife may not know how to resolve the first argument with her husband. It doesn’t matter how beautiful their dishes are when they sit at the kitchen table, frustrated with each other. She doesn’t know how to forgive him when he makes her so angry. But with practice, it willlasts.

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The new mother has so many voices and opinions coming at her about her child’s upbringing. She looks at her baby in the new cradle with the monogrammed blanket. She doesn’t know what voices to listen to, but she willlasts.

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The new wife does not immediately know how to reconcile her own habits and expectations with those of her husband. Their pillow faces match perfectly, while still not understanding each other’s perspectives.

But they willlasts.

The new mother does not know how to get her baby to sleep and eat at the right times. She has all the baby wraps, noise machines, and research at her disposal, but she’s still overwhelmed. With practice, eating and sleeping will become routineit just takes time.

The new wife has dreams and plans for her life and marriage. There will be houses and children, careers and goals. All her plans are as new and shiny as her wine glasses. She doesn’t know how to slow down and enjoy ordinary days with her husband. But he willlasts.

The exhausted mom can’t see past those regular diaper, feed, repeat days. As he takes out that not-so-new trash can again, he sighs, wondering what he actually accomplished that day. One day soon, he will be able to complete a task with both hands. She will also learn that days should not be measured in chores that are finishedit just takes time.

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The new wife does not know how to trust God with the big decisions in marriage.

He pulls that beautiful blanket up to his chin and peers through the darkness, trying to see what the future holds. She feels like she and her husband are alone against the world. But she will learn to trustit just takes time.

The new mother with her baby tightly strapped to the stroller feels like she has little control over the world around her precious baby. She can’t find the balance between safety and worry. But she will practice faith over fear every day. It gets a little easier as the years go by, but it takes constant practice and time.

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Both new wives and new mothers are filled with such passionate hope. A hope that still burns deep in their hearts even when the novelty wears off. As the years go by, the lines between woman, wife, and mother can begin to blur together. That wife and mother might wonder who she really is for a minute. Her identity is a patchwork of beautifully imperfect pieces from every stage of her life; she just doesn’t know yet. But he willlasts.

If I could wrap up the time and experience and bring it to the next shower I’m invited to, I would.

I would choose the prettiest paper and write “This is really all you need” on the card. I have a hunch, though, that the time we spend learning to love our spouses and children is a gift that’s already been given to us, no wrapping needed. I received this gift not from a shower guest, but from someone who created time itself.

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So in the days when the dishes break and the baby grows out of all his clothes, the time spent loving our families and the beautiful memories we make as we grow old together will still live on.

It just takes time to become love.

Taylor Hagemeyer

Taylor Hagemeyer goes by both “Mom” and “Mrs. H.” She has a husband who loves her as Jesus loves her. She was blessed with both a daughter and a son. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood special education and is a kindergarten teacher in a small town in Nebraska. She believes that play is the path to all learning. She is a children’s book author who wants to make the world a better place. You can find Things That Rhyme With Autism, a book she wrote for her students, on Amazon. You can also follow her on Facebook – Grow Home With Me and Instagram – @growhomewithme for more writing, play ideas and glimpses of her succulent garden.