If this post had musical accompaniment, it would be REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It.”
Except I don’t feel fine. I’ve had every symptom in the book.
And it’s hard to blog with your head in the toilet. (Bad wi-fi signal in there.)
Meet The Bean.
I’m not sure why, but each of my children developed an in utero nickname.
Griffin was Ruprecht. As in Ruprecht, The Monkey Boy.
That’s no reflection on him, I swear. As first-time parents, we were a little alarmed by the, er, simian profile of our darling offspring during the ultrasound. I’m relieved to say the resemblance ended at 18 weeks’ gestation. Whew.
Tristan was dubbed Twitchy because the little punk never stopped moving. Some personality traits are apparent from conception.
As for The Bean, the first BabyCenter description I read of our latest addition’s developmental stage posited that the baby was about the size of a lima bean so that’s how I came to refer to our little expectation — in my head, at least.
For reasons of common sense in this degenerate age, I won’t be sharing certain pertinent bits of information such as my due date. Even if I don’t have a deranged stalker lurking out there, I get a little annoyed by the incessant badgering of well-meaning people. (When I was almost full-term with my first child, the sweet old lady from down the street asked me: “Are you sure you’re still pregnant?” Um, pretty darn. True story.)
And for the deranged stalkers among you, should you be tempted to make an unannounced visit with wicked intentions, please note:
- I am armed.
- I’m also protected by a ravening duo of vicious preschoolers who are always looking for a fight. (If only I were joking.)
- Finally, not only have I enrolled in Master Ang Roy Da’s Prenatal Ninjitsu, I’ve been fast-tracked into his advanced class. We’ve already learned how to strangle the enemy with a Bella Band. Next month: Weaponized Estrogen or Making Hormones Fight for You.
I will, however, announce with enthusiasm and trepidation that The Bean is, in fact, a She-Bean.
I’m excited. And nervous. I’m not sure I know how to mother a girl. Poor kid.
I imagine all the arguments we’ll have about… oh, everything. Modest clothing. (Will they even make one-piece bathing suits sixteen years from now?) Calling boys. Or not calling, I should say. Acting like a lady. Reading good books and not fluff. Being independent but without carrying a chip on your shoulder. Accepting your physical flaws. Living life with a sense of humor, even when you yourself are the latest joke. Being confident. Embracing a Biblical standard of womanhood. Coping with hormones. On second thought, poor me.
I had a great teacher in my own mother. On the other hand, I’ve slept since then.
Why is it so hard to remember how I was well-parented? It’s easy to recall times I thought I’ll-never-be-the-kind-of-mother-who [insert teenage grievance here] — although I’m willing to bet the farm most of us are exactly those kinds of mothers, and sometimes even on purpose. Why, then, do the good moments seem so effortless when you were on the receiving end? I know they weren’t without blood, sweat and tears on my mother’s part. But I can’t seem to distill them down to “how-to lessons” for myself.
I feel like a pretty well-seasoned mother of boys (at least, boys up to the age of six). But a few days of packing away rompers and jeans and polo shirts and button-downs and hanging tiny, pink, fluffy, flowery, girly little outfits — bona fide outfits, not separates — in their place, I am becoming aware: we are headed for uncharted waters.
I suppose I have to hold fast to the lesson that God uses each of our children to teach and mold and shape us. Each little life, in his or her individuality, strengths and weaknesses, is another opportunity to be molded more closely into His image. It’s for our sake as much as for theirs.
Which begs the question, what does this little girl have to teach me?
I wonder. And wait.