Sometimes they were both crying. Mother and child together.
“So the crying would go from a solo to a duet, me and the baby swaying in dramatic harmony, alternating heaves as we wondered who would be able to reign it in first.”
And she blamed herself.
“A lot of those nights, I felt like such a failure. THREE hard babies? That seems illogical. Surely, the common denominator is their flipping ill-equipped mother.”
She turned to her own mother and her mother told her a story.
Harrell’s mom sat in church one day comforting her screaming baby brother, himself a hard baby, when she noticed the woman next to her with a quiet, peaceful child resting against her chest.
What’s your secret her mother wanted to know?
“‘Well, he’s actually not mine. I’m his foster mom, and it’s not so much that he’s easygoing. He just spent the first few months of his life crying non-stop with no response. Nobody ever came. The crying didn’t work for him. So he stopped. And now, he never cries.”
“Your son’s crying is a good thing. It means he trusts you, trusts that you’ll come.”
Harrell said it was that story that gave her comfort on those bad nights when the two of them were crying in a room. She hopes the story does the same for mamas wondering if it’s their fault .
“So to the mamas of hard babies, be thankful for the crying. Go scoop them up and hold them close.
They’re not crying because you’re a bad mom.
They’re crying because you’re such a good one.”