Monday, 7 May 2012

Baby Boy

The title is a bit of a misnomer as my baby boy isn't exactly a baby anymore. This past Friday my little man had his second birthday, firmly sealing him as a "big boy" and not a baby, which he reminded us of frequently during the day. So long as he's our youngest boy, I know in my heart I'll always think of him as my baby, but I can't help but reflect on how vivacious and strong he's getting. With every milestone I can't help but reflect on how tough things have been with him, from pregnancy on through his first two years.

Before we were even pregnant with him, my husband and I had been discussing the fact that we would be satisfied if our oldest two were the only children we would ever have, we would still feel abundantly blessed. We had a boy and a girl already, and they were certainly a handful. Around this time we'd moved into a lovely four bedroom townhouse that was former military housing. It was clean, bright, and even had a little fenced-in backyard for the kids to play. In that moment, our life felt complete. We talked about more kids off and on but our youngest was still an infant so we weren't in any rush. At the same time as we were settling into our new home, our car took a turn for the worse. Half of the time it wouldn't even start. We were concerned that it would stall while we were out driving, leaving us stranded with two small children. So off to go car shopping we went. We had our eyes on an old-style minivan (because as most of you with two little kids know, sometimes you need a van just to carry their gear!), but stumbled on a used van that was only a year old with very little mileage, and luckily, the price was right.

We were excited about our new purchase and what it would mean for our family, so we decided to buy a bottle of wine to celebrate the night before we were supposed to sign the paperwork. I joked I should take a pregnancy test just to make sure I was safe to have a drink and bought one as a gag to tease my husband with. Yes, that is the kind of humour I rock out. As it turns out, the joke was on me. After a quick trip to the bathroom to get the test started before I put away our groceries, I noticed that the test showed 2 dark pink lines within seconds. There was no doubt, no peering warily at the test at a faint line like we did with our first pregnancy. There, before my eyes, without a shadow of a doubt, was a positive pregnancy test. I remember in that moment the way I ran the gamut of emotions. My first reaction was to let out one loud laugh (which puzzled my husband who didn't know I was using the test in the evening. I usually do them in the morning, but this was at around 5pm, when the hormone wouldn't be as strong as the early morning). My second was to run down the stairs waving the test in the air like a mad woman. I remember that my husband was elated. He picked up our 2 year old girl and danced her around the room in his joy. There was no thought of regret, only delight for such a surprising and appreciated gift. We had both said two kids would be enough, but I know in that unexpected, unasked for moment, we were so full of excitement, peace and joy that I knew God had something wonderful in store for us.

Even now I think wonderful isn't a good enough word. There really is no word big enough, deep enough, or loving enough to describe what our precious little boy has meant to us. He is our clown, our bottomless pit, our cuddler, our thinker, our brave little man, and, simply, our daily gift. We had some scares with his pregnancy, including an awful fall down a long flight of stairs when I was about six months pregnant. I had bruises down the whole left side of my body but, by the grace of God, my sweet baby was completely uninjured. As I recall, after I finally stopped shaking and caught my breath, I felt one firm kick, like a harried neighbour asking me to quiet down my racket so he could sleep. After it all he came out, a week late, just shy of 8 pounds but full of life, joy, and smiles.

Reflecting on the past two years, I can't help but think about how grateful I am for God's generosity with me. I was willing to stop after two. Willing to have "good enough" instead of trusting that there might be something else worth experiencing for me. As I clutch on to the last remaining parts of my boy's babyhood, I'm glad God didn't listen to me or follow my plans. I could never have guessed how incredible the blessing of three (and then four, and maybe someday more) kids would be. I am reminded again and again how blessed I have been, especially when I don't expect it, whenever I let God do what He wants with my life.

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