Soon our family will expand by one more little body. My daughter will have her first, and I will be a grandma for the first time. I have a small chair awaiting this infant whom I look forward to meeting and cuddling.
Thoughts of meeting this little one usher in memories of when the mother-to-be and her sisters were small, when the house was busier and noisier than it is now. I remember toys spread around the floor during playtime, cookie crumb trails, food that made its way somehow from a small one’s hand to the floor next to the high chair, tears over a bump or hurt, surprise visitors that meant a playmate for an hour or two and many more moments of both joy and distress.
There were sleepless nights that spilled over into tired days, evenings when dinner wasn’t ready when my husband returned from work when he must have wondered what we had done all day. Sometimes those days just got away from me, with a child ill and fretful, teething, or just uncomfortable for some reason. Plenty of those, but not overshadowing the good ones that I choose to remember today, the others to let go.
At the end of the day, when the toys were tidied up and supper dishes done, when the baths were over, the children sat on their bed in their pajamas awaiting a bedtime story and night-time prayers. Time to be thankful that everyone was well and safe.
Time to tuck in and give a kiss goodnight, another hug, and depending on which child was speaking, a request for another drink of water, another story or some small way of extending the day just a little longer. Then looking in awhile later to see them fast asleep and ready to go to bed myself.
I remember, too, the planned picnics with another mother and children, going swimming, heading to the library for a new stack of books to read, water play on the lawn on a summer day, sitting on the shaded porch and reading on a hot day, neighbourhood children playing in our yard in the sandbox or soaring on our swings with my own girls. Also days when the visit ended too soon and a child, having a lot of fun, didn’t want it to end and hid, hoping to prolong the visit.
Desmond Tutu said, “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. “
And so I feel about this little one and the mother-to-be, Lord, grant them health and safe passage. Today we celebrate.