yada yada yada

I felt the title was necessary to make light of my absence for the past few months.  We had a baby!  A beautiful, gorgeous, magnificent baby!  It’s like the Seinfeld episode where the woman is telling a story and then seems to jump past all the important parts with…”and then yada yada yada” and jumps to the present tense.  Although, what is there to say?  I gave birth, and yes, there are funny parts and personal parts and even a little scary side to it but that’s not what this is about so I think yada yada yada sums it up.

The short of it is SHE’S HERE!  And she’s taught me so much in the two short months I’ve spent getting to know her.  First of all, either she’s a REALLY good baby or I’ve approached parenting differently this time.  I think it’s somewhere in the middle…a little of both.  She’s a pretty chill kid and I’m not all bent out of shape about everything being perfect…or perhaps I don’t have a need for the drama that I did with my older girls.  A need to play out the stress that everyone loves to talk about with a new baby.  Oh, not that I don’t acknowledge the stress, it’s real and it can be intense, but it doesn’t have to take over.  It can just make you drink an extra glass of wine at the end of the day and be thankful that your survived.  I’m pretty sure I tried to play out some sit-com interpretation of new mommy hood the first two times by pulling my hair out at any little detour from my plan.  This time my “plans” are more like suggestions for the day that may or may not get accomplished.  Sometimes a list that reads…

1. finish laundry

2. write thank you cards

3. make dinner

4. work out

5. start baby photo book


1.  Get big kids ready for school, crawl back in bed and cuddle with your new baby and then spend approximately seven hours staring at her and wonder how you got so.damn.lucky.

2. Pick up big kids from school.

Now, I gladly admit that there are days I do feel significantly more productive and accomplish great things in those seven hours, but somedays the second list just fits the bill.  I never realized until she arrived that I didn’t feel quite complete as a family.  I loved having my two girls close in age and the four of us had such fun together–it never occurred to me that there was anything missing.  Last weekend though, we took a little weekend staycation to Kansas City to stay in a hotel and just swim and spend time as a family out of the house.  As we were walking around the Plaza together I felt a “wholeness” I’d never felt before.  Kind of like a deep breath that feels so good.  My husband on one side, a snoozing baby strapped to my chest in a carrier and my older girls walking in front of us being silly.  One of those God-whisper moments that just said “FAMILY” to me in a way that felt amazing.

Older and wiser?

Pregnancy at 38, almost 39 is definitely a change from my pregnancies at 29 and 30.  First of all, I’m older.  An obvious mathematical statement that may leave the reader with raised eyebrows exclaiming…”and….???” Older isn’t just a numbers game though.  Older, in my opinion, encompasses so many changes that I truly believe it to be so much bigger than just a simple addition problem.  I’m calmer, I work less, my marriage is stronger, my friendships are a mix of fewer in number but much higher in quality.  My world seems to be more settled, more open to the massive change and whirlwind of chaos that a baby brings to it.

With my first two daughters I subconsciously dared them to change my world.  The spoiled child of my ego proclaimed defiantly, “We’ll still travel, still be spontaneous, still be exactly who we were before you arrived!  We won’t change a thing and you’ll have to adjust to US!”  God, The Universe, whoever you consider to be Holy, laughed hysterically and grabbed a bag of popcorn to watch the show unfold.  Because here’s the thing…those little people, no matter how small they happen to be, are actually…are you ready for this…separate entities from you!  It’s TRUE!  You don’t control them, you don’t own them, you influence them immensely for good and bad but in the end, they have a spirit all their own.  Many times they’re a mirror of your greatest weaknesses as well as your strengths–both of which drive you utterly insane when you watch them play out in another human being.  They can’t be a replay of your life’s successes or a repair of your faults…they have their own lives and lessons and your job is to sit back, watch, support, guide and be a safe place for them to fall.  I didn’t know this before.  I do now…although I still stumble over this undeniable fact more frequently than I’d like.

I welcome the personality of this baby number three.  I ponder if her intense kicks mean she’ll have a outward fire like my second child or an inner drive like my first. Either way, I hope I take the knowledge of my “advanced maternal age” and let her be whatever she’ll be as well as let her guide our family to become what it is meant to become.  Wild travel?  I’m doubting it for the next couple of years…but who knows?  Maybe she’ll love it.  Maybe she’ll be a homebody.  Either way, we’ll figure it out with a little more grace this time…because we’re “older.”

I’m not sure if this is an indication of wisdom or denial but the future seems clearer than in the past.  Maybe, just maybe, the failing sight of my age will actually provide me with clarity for greater vision.

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