Trying to enjoy the peace

by Kristi Van Dyk in

I remember when I was at this stage of pregnancy with Kayleigh. All I could think about was getting to meet my baby; I didn't care about how drastically my life would change or what other personal freedoms it might cost me. My dad used to say, "Enjoy this time right now because you won't get it back for a very very long time." I'd laugh it off and just say, "Yeah, yeah I know ..." But secretly I just wanted my baby OUT! As I am approaching that same juncture with this little baby boy, I keep telling myself that I have a super good thing going right now. I need to enjoy THIS TIME because my life will drastically change very soon and won't ever be the same again. So, in an effort to just that, I'm going to list the reasons today alone that I'm thankful for my life as is ... (1). I woke up this morning relatively well rested (baby boy caused Mommy to get up at 1, 3, 5, 6, and 7 to use the bathroom BUT it was nothing I couldn't sleep walk through!) :) (2). My little girl, though awake by 7:15 chatted happily in her crib, playing with her fan and blanket and paci until 8:00 a.m. when I allow her to get up (3). I did not have to prepare any bottles for breakfast or do any annoying nipple scrubbing; I simply poured two handfuls of Cheerios on a tray with a glass of apple juice and said, "Good morning, angel." (4). At the grocery store, I handed all items to my toddler to put "in the cart" (aka toss behind her back and see if she makes it into the basket). This will not be happening soon as her little brother will likely be riding in that space and groceries will need to be carefully placed around him. (5). When loading the car, I had just one car seat to buckle/unbuckle. (6). Unloading groceries and bringing in the trash barrels was a game that we could play, not something requiring a balancing act (7). At nap time, I simply changed Kayleigh's diaper, plunked her back in the crib with her usual comforts and said, "nap time." Two hours later I returned to collect her, well rested, happy, and fresh off some excellent sleep (8). Lunch was remarkably easy ... grapes, string cheese, and a peanut butter sandwich ... which my daughter ate while I showered and packed for tennis. (9). Tennis practice was fantastic as my new mother's helper, Lizzie Bauss, simply ran around the school grounds with Kayleigh, avoiding the usual disasters (the creek, the flying baseballs, etc). Just Lizzie, some snacks and juice and that's all my little girl needs. (10). Kayleigh joined us at the dinner table and ate, largely, without interrupting. (11). Steve and Kayleigh just left for a Daddy/daughter ice cream date and Mommy is left with an unusual peace a little earlier in the evening ... (12). (And this is the biggest) ... at 8:00 p.m. (at the latest) I will place my daughter lovingly back in her crib and say, "I love you, precious. Night Night ... See you in the morning." I will then proceed to work diligently at my addalingua while watching ridiculous television and talking with my husband. I won't have a diaper to change, middle of the night feedings or wake up calls because of fear or any other issue. My daughter will sleep, or talk, or simply rest, but she won't need me for a blissful 12 hours. ... This I know I will miss ... dearly ... :)

And even as I say all of those things, knowing I won't have them so easy in the next month ... I don't want any readers to think I am not deliriously happy about the coming arrival of my baby boy. There isn't a single day that I don't thank the Lord for the life that I know is living in my belly ... (I can feel him kicking as I write). There isn't a day that I don't hope that we will meet very soon and I'll snuggle him in my arms ... loving even the neediness that comes with a newborn. Sigh ...

I guess I'm left to conclude that there are things to enjoy about each phase in our lives. I wouldn't trade the 4.5 years of marriage that Steve and I enjoyed without children for anything! We had blissful vacations with fruity drinks on the beach, sunsets and playoff basketball. We enjoyed many holidays without carting the obligatory diaper bags, extra entertainment, and necessary childhood comforts. We spent countless nights out at movies or dining out where we wished we had something else to say :) ...

In that same token we have enjoyed 17 months of being new parents ... watching just Kayleigh. Enjoying how she learns, watching as she is silly and aggressive, curious and playful! We've laughed at her antics, cried together when she was super sick, and spent time just staring as she slept.

And soon ... soon there will be "one for each" as we've been told to call it ...  a his and a hers. There will be moments to cherish as the kids grow individually and precious moments as they learn to interact with each other, and hopefully, love each other and become fast friends.  But for now, I'm going to try and cherish each and every last moment I have with Kayleigh only ... making sure she knows that she is loved, treasured, and valued no matter who else joins the picture :)