Kara and my son-in-law Joe have decided to welcome their first child the old-fashioned way. We won’t know whether it’s a girl… or a boy …until this babe is born.
I rather like living in the mystery since all of life is mystery. There is so very little that we actually control. The who. The what. The where, when and how. All that fills our days is mystery… until Father Time puts the day to bed.
Of course, we make plans for life. Lot’s and lot’s of plans. We make plans that we hope, wish and dream to fulfillment. Sometimes we make plans we’d prefer to avoid. That’s what my Aunt Jo was doing the week before she died. Looking back, I think Aunt Jo had more than an inkling death was near. But I’m not sure she knew she was as close as reality ultimately proved she was. What a blessing it is to live in mystery, to not know the time of our own deaths.
Would you believe Aunt Jo lined up a preacher to preach her funeral service six days before her death? Then there was the no small matter of asking for help to write a tribute for her daughter-in-law Judy. With distance, I see Aunt’s Jo’s desire as not only gracious but a very old-fashioned way of blessing, just like the Patriarchs did on the pages of the Old Testament before they put their own lives to bed, which they called “gathering to their ancestors.”
Last Sunday four generations of women and children gathered at my sister’s house to bless the new life Kara is carrying. My Aunt Georgia and I suppose Jane represented my mother’s generation — those who could be great-grandmothers or great-grand aunts — though Jane is really between this generation and my own. Then there’s my generation — those who are grandmothers or great-aunts. Then my children’s generation — those now having children, like Kara. And then the children themselves.
I looked out my sister’s window to watch this new generation at play. They were having so much fun. Spending time together. Going back and forth between Christi’s house and Jane’s. They are at that wonderful age before shyness and self-consciousness sits in, when eyes connect to make instant best friends. These young cousins were running the wide open spaces like my children and their cousins did before them… and like me and my cousins did before them — not too long after my grandparents purchased the land in the late forties.
Will this new child be a girl or a boy? Oh, perhaps I have an inkling of which it will be. But I’ll keep my own counsel, since it won’t be long before Mystery reveals her hand. All-too-soon, this unborn babe will be running hard to keep up with his or her older cousins. They will come inside smelling like grass and sunshine. And like little Kinsey did Sunday, Kara’s child will tear up at having to say good-bye to her new playmates. And he or she will be too tired for the bath. But not too tired to hear a story and get thousands of kisses and drinks of water before being tucked into bed. And when it’s time to turn out the light for bed, he or she will tell their mother they are not tired.
But here’s where the mystery ends — Mother Kara will put her child to bed anyway.
And be a fantastic Mom. I’ll be a great, great aunt for the 7th time and 8th in May
I love that they’re choosing not to know whether the baby will be a boy or a girl until it’s born. I was just mentioning to someone else tonight that pregnancy, childbirth and parenting are being utterly strangled by the demand of a generation of planners to know everything and be in control of everything.
Grump, grump. 😉 But I swear – guessing “boy or girl?” used to be one of the best parlor games ever! My mom’s doctor thought I was a boy up to the very end. I was born at noon and he was called away from a luncheon at our town’s hotel. He said no girl would be impolite enough to do that!
Here’s the corny truth: You’ve always been a great, great aunt, even before all these great and great-greats came to life.
I love the little story about the doc who delivered you. It gives such insight into him and the times in which he practiced.
But yes, sometimes — like in the case of this unborn Grand and parents Kara and Joe — it’s good to be out-of-sync with the times.
Do you remember the old game when you’d lay on the floor and someone would hold a sewing needle on a thread over your belly to find out how many kids you’d have, and whether they were boys or girls. I think if it went back and forth it was a boy and in a circle meant a girl. Well, I was supposed to have eight girls and two boys. Did I? Nope! :<)
Funny but just today I was sitting around my dining room table with two others planning one of Kara’s three baby showers — of course, the subject of baby shower games came up as well as “old wives tales” (lovely image, is it not?) on how to predict the unborn child’s sex. I recalled my aunts and grandmother predicting the sex of my firstborn based on the way I was carrying the child — carrying high meant girl and low was a guaranteed boy (I think). Then I recall using the rate of the heartbeat — faster meant a girl and a slower rate meant a boy — my oldest, an RN who works for an OB-GYN quickly debunked this one. But I’ve never heard of the one you wrote of, though I find it charming.
The other writing on your blog which I’ve found charming are those progress reports on your daughter and son-in-law’s new home. How great to be within walking distance of one another.
Good of you to stop by and leave a calling card.