Seven Quick Takes

Welcoming Another Soul

1819 1819_ () 1819 1819 Weekly column
In a few short months, Paul and I will be ushering into our family another member, a brand new little person who will change the dynamic of our world, most definitely for the better.

Adding to the mix is always such a surreal event – one minute, things are the way they are. You are used to your little part of the universe and you love it and don’t necessarily feel like anything is missing. And then, along comes another baby and after knowing that tiny little person for even just a few hours, you can’t believe you lived so long without him.

When Henry came into our life two years ago, I’ll admit I had reservations about adding another child to our brood. For nearly six years, we had been a family with four boys, and those four boys had become a quite a unit. I wondered if this new family member would fit in, how the dynamic of this person would change our set-up. Would the transition be seamless, or would this added child be off alone, the “other baby” we had years after all the others.

It took all of two minutes for me to look at baby Henry and marvel that I hadn’t known him my entire life. Henry is such an important part of our family landscape that we can’t believe he hasn’t always been here.

Love is certainly a mysterious thing.

When I was pregnant with our oldest son, I spent a lot of time worrying about my capacity to love this unborn human. I also worried that if I loved the baby too much, I would forget about my husband. How could I love them both? How would my heart manage?

The answer, I discovered, is that it manages just fine.

A few years later, when baby number two came along, in crept those same fears. There was all kinds of love flowing in my heart for my son and husband, but I wasn’t convinced I had the time and energy to offer the same to anyone else. Where would all these emotional resources come from?

Finally I caught on to the miracle of the human heart – that this gift of love we are given offers the ability for our heart to somehow expand and love more than we ever imagined. We love so much that it hurts.

And yet, even though I have learned this lesson many times before I find that the same concerns can creep in from time to time. As we await the arrival of baby number six, I wonder about this unknown creature. Who is this little person we will soon meet? What will he (or she?!) be like? How do our hearts continue to expand?

One recent morning, as Paul and I were getting ready for the day, Henry had climbed onto our bed and was doing some kind of fancy front flip. He was laughing while he flailed himself onto the pillows and my husband and I stared at him with delight.

“What did we ever do without him,” I asked Paul.

“Will the next baby be this awesome,” he asked me back.

Of course, we know the answer – every child is an incredible gift. Each child enters a family and offers something new and beautiful that wasn’t there before.

Having a new baby takes plenty of energy and certainly requires some adjustment. There will be weeks of sleepless nights and the pinch that change can bring. We will be tired and challenged.

But we will also be blessed, and we’ll thank God and marvel at our good fortune. We will look at this baby and realize here is exactly what we needed, here is the piece of the puzzle we had been waiting for, the part we didn’t even realize we were missing. 1819″> ?


Thought for the Day

…as I head out to the dentist:

I *know* I should wear the cute maternity jeans and the better looking shoes. But I’m opting for the yoga pants and my tennis shoes.

Because on a day when I’m lumbering around trying to get ready for a million other things, having “walk” on my to-do list feels excessive.


Post-Camping Madness

1817 1817_ () 1817 1817 We had a very busy weekend and I spent all day yesterday recovering.

Actually, I spent all day yesterday doing laundry and it’s got me thinking that maybe I don’t really adore doing laundry as much as I thought. Paul and three of the boys went camping and you can only imagine how many dirty clothes that generated. Camping is not for wimps — and even those who don’t actually go on the trip can’t be wimpy about the mess that will await when the campers return.

One of our boys got lost on that trip this weekend, and was found two hours later. It hasn’t really sunk in, and maybe that’s a good thing. It was my biggest fear whenever we discussed this trip and it happened. And we (and that boy) made it through. Thank you Lord.

For now, I will go switch over the LAST! (woo-hooo) load of wash from the trip (one last blanket and some camping towels) and enjoy starting a day that doesn’t have me staring at a laundry room filled with once-white but now-black socks and those desperately-sought long johns that did indeed get worn (every single moment of the trip).

Also, as I was picking through one pile, I discovered a “packet” of undies, four pairs of tightywhities layered in a way that could only occur through a boy putting them on one pair at a time but indeed all at one time.

“Did you wear your undies like this,” I asked, holding up the white square.

“No!,” he declared, “I mean, yeah, I think I did.”

I guess whatever it takes to keep warm is the name of the game. 1817″> ?