I’m leaning against the wall, staring at it. Somehow, I feel as though this will help the reality sink in all that much faster. The walls around it have been painted subtle neutrals and the pictures and decor are ready to be hung. All around it, change seems almost to be tangible.
I remember my mother’s, white and small yet so grown up, resplendent with its ruffles and skirt that stretched gracefully to the ground. I had one, too, though mine was much smaller and far less resplendent. I used to gently lay my babydolls inside, much like I’d seen my mother do with my little siblings, practicing for the day I’d have my own bassinet someday. Those days seemed far away, cloudy and surreal.
Of all the items my husband and I have been purchasing for our child, the bassinet seems to make it most surreal. The spare room was cleared out and cleaned; we were doing some Spring Cleaning. The paint went up; we were doing home improvement. The bassinet arrived; time has frozen. That very item will sit at my bedside, holding my most valuable and delicate possession in this life. I will pick my child up from that tiny sleeping area and lay him or her back inside to rest. As beautiful and romantic as my little wicker bassinet seems, there is a reality that has arrived with it that has me realizing how little time I have left.
I am going to be a mother. These words, still, seem laughable. For months, I have felt the flutters then kicks and movements of my child. I have watched my middle grow forward, while it nourished a growing life. I have begun wearing clothes with giant panels and flowing middles. I’ve laughed and cried over sonograms and heartbeats. And still, the reality of me as a mother seems…large. I have two months left to prepare for the coming of my child. I feel as though I will never get everything I need done and yet am perfectly aware most of it doesn’t matter. My child will enter this world with or without bassinet or crib sheets. He or she will come home from the hospital whether or not I have finished crocheting yet another baby project. This preparation is not my main concern.
I am acutely cognizant that I will be holding a child’s life and soul in my hands. Anything I say and do can shatter or affirm my child. In carefully or carelessly chosen words, I am the first to impact my child’s sense of worth and value. By my loving or empty actions, My child will feel infinitely valued or finitely worthless. As a mother, I will introduce my child to the Man who lent him or her to me. I will be responsible, first and foremost, in cultivating a love in my child for this Man. And should I fail, I will be responsible.
This young, tiny life rolling and squirming inside me has no idea how much its already truly and deeply loved. Tears have come and laughs exploded on empty ears at home, when I feel its body move about inside. I’ve seen feet project from my side and a head roll around my abdomen. I love my baby. I cannot wait to hold it and love it everyday for the rest of my life.
Until then, I will prepare. Yes, I will buy the sheets and hopefully finish the crochet projects. But, more importantly, I will continue to spiritually prepare myself for the beautiful servitude that is motherhood. Days spent with teething wails and nights up with high fevers will, God help me, be used solely for the salvation of my growing little family. Repeated statements and requests for obedience, God willing, will stem from patience and love. I desire to be a good mother, with a happy family. While I don’t know how all this will end, I know how all good things begin: with God. He has and will continue to give me the strength and courage to face this daunting, beautiful task.