On Second Baby Things
As I have written probably a thousand times: I am not a patient person.
Preparing for this baby’s birth has been the ultimate test of surrender. Surrender of control, a surrender to mystery.
With Leo’s pregnancy, we found out that he was a boy. We began calling him by name. We bought little boy clothes and started a massive collection of baby equipment. It felt like real preparation: I would lay on the couch at night, utterly and totally free to do as I please, feeling for kicks and wondering what becoming a mom would be like.
Now, I honestly forget that this second child exists until I feel a random leg protruding out of my rib cage. Our pile of baby clothes is in a drawer. We don’t have any big equipment to buy besides the huge double stroller which resembles a parade float.
What has made this waiting so different is that I don’t have any mental picture of holding this baby, of getting to know them and rocking them to sleep. I can’t even call the baby by name. Boy or girl makes such a vast difference in my imagination that it’s simply impossible for me to conjure up an image without knowing the gender. When I picture holding this new baby….it’s just an empty photograph in my imagination. It is so wholly unknown.
I’ve had lots of people say: You didn’t find out?! I could never do that.
Well, I am one of those people, haha. I didn’t think I could ever or would ever do it. But lately I’ve been taking great, noble joy in actually doing things that stretch my character and force me to do something good for myself: and a deep surrender to the unknown of God’s plan for ushering in new life into the universe seemed to be a good place to start.
So, while this baby has a significantly smaller stockpile of trinkets waiting for him or her on the outside, the beautiful journey from inside the womb has been more transformative than I could have hoped for. To tangibly and actively seek surrender to the impenetrable mystery of life without getting restless in the waiting: that, to me, is motherhood now.
It’s waking up every day saying to myself that I get to have another day with my students and Leo before the new arrival. It’s savoring the last precious weeks of being large and waddly and delighting in a full night’s rest. It’s having the courage to say yes to the moment I’m abiding in without interiorally gazing too far ahead and wondering to the detriment of where my feet and heart are planted right now.
So yeah, second baby. We really can’t wait to meet you. But actually we can, and we did. And we’re thrilled to be waiting just a little bit longer, patiently and lovingly, before encountering whatever wonderful and terrifying things you have to bring us.