Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Thinks We Think

I became a Christian through the death of a friend. A young friend. I sometimes fall into a trap thinking that it was something meant to prepare me for a greater grief in my future. The loss of a child? A spouse? Another dear friend?

I have lost since the day my friend Matt died. In eighteen years how can one not lose something more? I even lost another dear friend before I was out of my teens. Life is such a short breath. Shorter for some.

I am at the stage in my life where lots of my contemporaries are having children. They are having children and some are losing them before they even get to hold them. This is a great sadness. It is a reminder, too, of how fragile and precious life is. It is such a shame (to myself) how frequently I take this for granted.

I read about other people's loss and I keep waiting for my own. And yet? Lord willing we will have a fourth child in less than twenty days. I am chastened by my own flippant attitude. By my worries about how much sleep I will get, how much work it will all require, how much my life will change.

We did not ask for this gift and yet we have been lavished. It took me time to be accepting. Is it my job to be excited and go out into the world with my chaotic little brood and give a face to humans who will be open to life? Being open to life also requires, demands, an openness to death and loss. I pray that these are not crosses that I (nor you) have to bear any time soon. But I cannot help but think of how it is all related when I am on the verge of meeting a new human.

Deo Gratias

Monday, September 13, 2010

Final Countdown

I have entered the stage where I can say, "A month from now there will be a new baby in the house!" While this is a great relief physically, it sometimes drains me to think of little Rowena not being "The baby" anymore. She's so darn cute and sweet and chubby and cuddly. I don't like to think of her as being replaced.

Yet I know that this thinking is faulty. I've been through it before. It was hardest when I was about to have Gianna because I had no experience with having another child to love.

This baby will not have hours of sitting idly on my lap like Stella, but he will have three adoring sisters. Rowena couldn't get enough of a friend's baby on Saturday. She kept wanting to hold him and pat him and kiss him. Naturally, the baby became a little annoyed after a bit. We'll be doing some major defensive work here for a while.

Someone asked me if I was excited to have a boy. As is my nature, I was honest and informed them that I'm never really excited until the baby arrives. They said, "How exciting can it be the fourth time around anyway, right?"

That's not exactly the sentiment that I was trying to convey. In fact, knowing how quickly babyhood passes and how very sweet babies are makes each baby added to the family more valued than the baby before. Notice I'm talking about babies, not individual persons. Of course, they're all valued, but the babies become more valuable. There is more confidence on our part as parents and more knowledge of the fleeting nature of this stage.

Stella will be five shortly after this baby is born. It blows my mind to think about how quickly it's all passed. It is with that knowledge that I look forward to meeting this next child and doing my very best to remember what a pleasure it is to have a newborn. This will be no simple task when I am sleep deprived. That will be when God's grace is most necessary. He will need to fill in all the blanks for me on all the fronts that I will fail during our next babymoon.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Teaching Her the Rules

Half the year we shout at our children, "Leave the door open!" because it's nice and they spent the last six months being trained to, "Shut the door!"

So this morning I'm telling sweet little Gianna, who perpetually runs around in underwear these days, to make sure she shuts the door when she comes inside.

"Why, or else Indians will get in?"

Oh, the ways in which her world works. This morning she didn't want to go throw her bread crusts out front to the birds because she was afraid that rock monsters were going to get her. And because I'm a big, fat, pregnant fuddy-duddy I wouldn't accompany her to the great outdoors. I had to teach her a lesson or something.

While she cried at me while wearing her little silky princess pajamas.

What kind of jerk am I?

Friday, September 03, 2010

Distinguishments the Girls Make

While Gianna and Stella were playing dolls Gianna was a naked Barbie character:

Gianna to Stella: Hi! I'm naked.
Stella: AHHH!!!!! (her doll runs and hides)
Gianna: No, I'm not a monster. Just naked.

Stella remembering past delicacies enjoyed at Chez Hanson:

Mom, remember those really good hot dogs that we used to get to eat in the morning? Not the ones that we eat for dinner or for camping out, the tasty ones for the morning.