Thursday, January 29, 2015

For the Littlest Stanley

Dear my littlest one,

My pregnancy app dinged this week to tell me you are now the size of a tart kumquat. Tiny and curled up tight somewhere nebulous deep inside. I like to think of you with a skin thicker than your sweet inner bits, protecting you from me and my jostling and fumbling and throwing up. I suppose it’s still both hard and awe-inspiring to think of you as a real little person, forming fully and intricately inside me. I cant wait to discover the ways you will fit perfectly into the space in our family that we didn’t know existed. Lives and schedules that seem full-to-over-flowing, hold space somehow thoroughly set aside for you.

You are so lucky to be getting the best big brother and sister. Caden often clambers up to my spot on the bed and puts his mouth to my belly button. Hi baby he says, I’m just getting home from school. Then he puts his ear to my stomach for a minute, shushes me, before informing me da baby says i love you caden! And your big sister, Jayci, prays for you every night while we lay together in her bed. Her words so surprising and wise that my eyes leak with the knowledge of how quickly she has grown up, and how certainly the same thing will happen to you.

And you should probably know that you’ve also got a whole slew of big brothers anxiously and a little awkwardly awaiting your arrival. I dont have to worry much about your protection, or whose arms will hold you when I need a break. Because this messy, busy, loud house fills quick with some pretty amazing kiddos and neighbors, a community that spans the rainbow and teaches us important lessons every day about grace and justice and reconciliation.

In fact, I’ve been thinking a lot about reconciliation these days. About divides and spaces-between, and the ways the world and particularly our neighborhood imagines them to be vast. And I wonder what role you will play in this reconciliation. I wonder if you will be a peace-maker in our family, or if that role will fall to Caden as the typical-middle-child, though I cant quite imagine him playing it. I wonder, perhaps, if we are crazy for bringing another child into such a hurt-filled and pot-hole-ridden world. Where terrorists and poverty and systems and politics feel big and sometimes hopeless. I worry, except that I fully believe the world will be a better place for having you in it. And I hope and pray that you will be one who not only stands on the side of justice, but who believes wholeheartedly in the good. Who doesn’t give up in the face of loss or hurt or even unimaginable evil. One who follows Jesus wherever He leads. Who seeks peace and reconciliation, and plays the role of peacemaker. But who also raises a holy ruckus when necessary.

I think about the things I’ve learned, and all the ways I’ve been changed in and through being a mom to Jayci, and then to Caden. It wasn’t the same both times, and I cant help but wonder what things I will learn about motherhood by mothering you too. I hope, sometimes, that perhaps three children will make me more of the mom I think I should be. Like I’ll stay on top of the laundry and the dishes, and that I’ll make yummy from-scratch meals and pack notes with your lunches, which will be well-balanced and cut into cute shapes. The truth, however, is that your daddy didnt marry me for my homemaking abilities, and I’m not sure those things will ever be my strong suit. You will probably spend days in a messy house. We will run late, and forget things like your pacifiers and most-definitely diapers. And shoes, forever we are forgetting shoes. Thank goodness you wont need those for a while.

Yesterday, we went to see the perinatal specialist for the first time. I’m considered a high-risk pregnancy with you, because of your big brother’s special heart. We walked into Northside hospital and inhaled the familiar scent of the soap, while nurses bustled by and I tried to brush away the memories of Caden’s birth day and remind myself that yours will be different. We met with a genetic counselor who asked about all your relatives, and (on my side at least) there are many. They outlined risks and concerns, percentages and tests, and all of the things they know and cant know. They explained all the screenings they could do, and the things we could find out about your chromosomes and the tiniest parts of who you are. We declined most of the screenings, because of risk and costs, and because in the end there will always be things we might not know.

And also because there are already some things we do know. Like God doesn’t make mistakes, and that He knits you carefully in my womb just exactly the way you should be. And that you will be loved and cherished completely for who you are, no matter what.

We did get to do a fancy ultrasound, and see your cute little face. You sucked on your hand and kicked your tiny legs, while we grinned and held hands. Your daddy kept calling you a boy, and I couldn’t stop referring to you as “she.” So apparently we are evenly divided along gender lines as to whether we think you are a boy or a girl.

Here’s what I really want you to know today: regardless of your gender, the condition of your heart, or what your delivery looks like (but please come out easy, ok?), we cannot wait to meet you and experience every piece of who God has crafted you to be. The curve of your cheeks, the color of your eyes, the swoop of your hair. If you’re shy like your siblings, or silly like your daddy. If you like reading and crafts, or science and explosions, or all of the above. No matter what, we love you already, and we love you completely.

Love,
Momma

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely beautiful... LOVE that last paragraph:)

    Praying you are feeling better by the day!

    ReplyDelete

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