My oldest daughter, Erin, is anxiously awaiting the birth of her third baby. July 18th is the date that baby is due, but she is ready for it to happen now. Heavy with child and uncomfortable as a result, her energy level is decreasing. That she has two young daughters to care for contributes to her exhaustion. Kathryn and Lea are lovely little girls, active and engaged in every minute of their little lives! They love to be outdoors, swinging and sliding on their play set, or drawing chalk masterpieces on the driveway.
Erin engages with them regularly. Fortunately, circumstances allow her to be a stay-at-home mom, and she spends most of her day entertaining her daughters. She is creative at thinking up new crafts and activities in which to engage them. Her kitchen and living rooms are galleries for the girls' artwork, carefully displayed so as to be admired by any and all visitors. Three of Kathryn's finger paintings are tastefully framed and hung in the dining area. They are great conversation pieces.
But as the days of summer draw on, her readiness to give birth does as well. I remember those late days of pregnancy: the honeymoon-type excitement is over and now the body just wants to be free again to begin to bounce back into its old shape and form. Just the freedom to sleep comfortably or tie one's own shoes seem to be incredible gifts.
So, in these last few days, we are on baby watch. I call her daily, just to see how that day is going and to reassure her that her lack of energy does not translate into child neglect. She is only tired and for today, the TV might have to be the babysitter so that she can just relax for awhile. When a new baby is being born, everyone sacrifices a little bit, but the mother most of all. The discomfort and dissatisfaction of these last few days may never be completely forgotten, but will fade in comparison to the joy of new life.