Ten Years of Thanks
June 25, 2005
We are waiting for you. Not patiently, even though you were due just a few days ago. Your grandparents come from out of town to take your big brothers out for malts and to the park, and to meet you. You have other plans.
Daddy and Grandpa install new air conditioners while I sit poolside at the hotel and watch your brothers swim. You kick and roll. You are swimming, too.
"Girls bake longer," the midwife says and smiles.
Daddy and I exchange a glance. We have no pink in your layette, not after two boys, but deep in some secret place, I know we should.
Thunderstorm and we lose power. The temperature indoors soars with the blessed air conditioner stagnant. "Can we birth with no power?" We worry. Will you pick tonight to come, in the dark?
We call the midwife, fluttery, impatient. "A birth by candlelight! How lovely - I do it all the time."
At ease, we wait. Soon?
No, not yet, you say. Power restores at midnight.
Too hot to sit, too sore to stand.
When will we meet you?
~ What is this? A dull ache, hardly unusual, but intermittent and regular.
"Is it time?" Daddy asks.
"I don't know," I say. "I don't think so."
~ We go out for dinner, Russ' Restaurant and I eat something - I don't remember now. Eight minutes between trips to the restroom. "Bladder the size of a pea," I joke and think nothing more.
"Are you in labor?" your grandmother asks.
I laugh. You are nearly two weeks late - I have resigned myself to being expectant forever.
~ Your brothers are tucked in their beds. "Should we call the midwife?" Daddy asks. I shrug. I feel a gentle tightening, not at all like your brothers. "Maybe."
~ "I think this is the night," I tell the midwife. "I'm not sure, though."
She ignores my hesitation. "Shall I come now? You know you labor fast."
I pause, a contraction. "No, these are so slight."
~ "Shouldn't the midwife come soon?" Daddy asks.
I laugh at him. "Am I even in labor?"
~ Something changes. Subtle, like a gentle shift from a major to a minor key. "You should call the midwife," I say. "No great rush."
~ "Could you ... gasp ... call ... and tell her ... to get here ... NOW?"
July 3, 12:00am
Your midwife arrives at the door and takes one look at me. She sends Daddy out for the stool. Your brothers sleep soundly upstairs. "Let's have this baby!" she whispers.
~ We meet you - tiny, pink and only blue to dress you in.
Your brothers sleep through it all, but I will never forget later that morning; Daddy brings them downstairs and whispers in their ears, "You have a baby sister!"
Never before and never since have I seen their eyes light with such wonder. And even now, two years from that day, you are still filling us with wonder. For God's abundant grace which sustained you those floating months, for each smile, each word, each step, we are grateful.
Happy birthday to you!
I first wrote this post when you were two. And now you are ten. I'm even more grateful for you today, my beautiful intelligent kind thoughtful amazing and in every way a part of my heart, Mud Pie. I love you.
Still sweet perfection!