"My cup runneth over." Across the room is a little bundle of pink, sleeping soundly and looking like the precisous angel she is. Across a couple of states is a couple who are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their first baby, Little Bird. There is a lot of talk around our house these days about babies. Lots of smiles accompany that talk. This week Elisa has outdone herself smiling. She has beautiful blue eyes and long dark eyelashes that absolutely melt you when she casts her gaze your way. Her schedule is pretty much: eat, play, sleep with the amount of time she spends on each different each time. We are learning how to get things done during the sleep times instead of just staring at her hoping everything is hunkey dorey in her world.
It's not like we haven't had infants in our care before. We have and they both made it to adulthood, but their continuing birthdays are reminders of how long ago they were infants. I'm afraid the shock of adolescence erased any helpful hints I might have remembered from the early stages of life. Then, they became adults and things changed again. I have loved--mostly--every stage of our children's lives and I treasure the memories, but I'll have to say that one of God's greatest gifts is for us to know and love them as the adults they are today!
One of those adults has five children of his own. I remember the disbelief expressed by the former high school principal when Tommy introduced Liz to him as "my wife." What would that man think if he could observe T & L with their family today? He would see a good looking, sensitive, articulate eleven year old who is affectionate, helpful and a terrific baby sitter. He would see a beautiful seven year old, looking very much like someone he remembers from another high school class--only the hair isn't quite the same color. She, too, is affectionate and helpful and loves to cook with her dad and Maw Maw. The third one is going to be the athelete in the crew. In the midst of all the football a couple of weeks ago, he came in asking his dad, "When will it be time for baseball?" He is inquisitive, plain spoken, unconsciously trying not to be branded as the "middle child." The former principal would have to look quick to see the two year old. She is always on the go, unless, of course, she has a book for you to read, then she's in your lap or close beside you turning pages as you read to her. We all read at her command. She talks a lot, but with her own language. Little E, pretty in pink, would wow even the sternest former principal. She has that way about her, even now. Look out world. Times change, people change. God is at work. I have to think Dr. R would be pleased if he could see Tommy's family today. He might not believe at first glimpse, but he would after a closer look. He would see a blend of mom and dad in all the children; maybe he would know, as I do, that this family is God's creation.
Marty and her husband are counting the days until their first baby arrives. They have a daughter by his former marriage and they share custody with the mother so we can look at a new baby as a first and an addition to the family. All three of them are excited. I'm not sure "excitement" adequately describes Tom's feelings. He is beside himself! My emotions are mixed. I've watched Marty all these years literally pour herself into the people she cares about. I've watched her as an animal lover take in pets no one else wants. I've watched her make tough decisions with her pets, grieve, then move forward. I felt her pain when in her first marriage she knew there would be no natural born children for them. I have seen her with her nieces and nephews and have known how she longed to be a mother. I have examined the depth of love for my children and have wanted, more than anything, for her to experience all that it is to be a mother. Now that time is here. Mothers and daughters may share many things, but to share what it means to be a mother has to be one of the best things of all. The different stages of Marty's life flash before me and I wonder how she will respond to those same stages in her child's life. Should I have loved her more? Why didn't I do things differently? I hope she learns from my mistakes. Most of all I want her to know how much I love her, that I am always here for her, that being a mother is a God given part of life. Without His presence and guidiance, we'd be lost--that's true in all stages of life. Soon, with the weather's cooperation, we'll be packing our car and heading east to welcome the newest blessing to the family. It is a day for which I have prayed and I'm grateful the prayer has been heard and answered with Bird.
The writer of Ecclesiastes writes so eloquently that "to everything there is a season." This is my season to be a grandmother and to cherish the relationships with my adult children.