One of my dearest friends is having a baby today!
And I’m a bit excited.
(Can you tell?)
Last night another friend and I reminisced about our own birth stories.
Funny how some things stay so vivid in your memory and others fade with time.
As we talked, I thought about all the things that I’d told my friend in preparation for this day.
And how no matter how many things you tell, there’s still stuff you leave out.
And you want to shout, “Oh, yeah and this…and that…and…”
But the moment has passed and then she’s in her own moment.
And one day she’ll be the one sharing her stories with another new mom-to-be
And as she talks, she’ll remember tiny bits that she’d forgotten all about
And then she’ll be the one saying, “Oh, yeah and this…and that…and…”
And she’ll want to warn her how much it’s going to hurt and how hard it all is, from labor into life and on.
And she’ll want to tell her that none of it will really matter in the end
– the birth plan that fell apart, the medicine that didn’t work,
the things that happened and weren’t supposed to
and the things that were supposed to happen and didn’t.
And when it’s all over she’ll wonder how she did it at all
And how time seemed to be standing still but now rushes by when it becomes a memory.
But she won’t understand.
Not until it’s there.
(And then it’s gone).
“Savor the moment,” I whisper to her, though she is hundreds of miles away.
And my throat catches and my heart flutters because it knows the love and joy that is about to be.
I love you, sweet friend. You will be a wonderful Mama.
And, just like with today, I’ve tried to prepare you for what’s to be in the coming days, weeks, months.
But you won’t really understand it until it’s here.
And I’m here when it hits you, when you feel lost and confused and sleepy.
I might not have an answer, but I listen well (and that’s often all you need).
I’m certainly cheering you on today, but I’m also cheering you on forever.
It’s impossible to sit of the cuff of new motherhood without thinking of your own journey.
I even risked waking the baby to get my hands on their baby books.
Can you guess which two were born before we used digital cameras?
(Can you also tell that I am lazy because I took a cell phone picture of a printed picture?)
(Also? My hair when Lydia was born? I obviously didn’t know Leslie then.)