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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Shock and Awe

Baby number two is on the way!

When we saw those two pink lines on the home pregnancy test the first thing that happened was a jaw-dropped, stunned silence. The next thing that happened was us cracking up laughing at ourselves.

Since the days when our dating relationship was getting serious and we were starting to talk about hopes and plans for the future, James and I have hoped and planned to have at least two children. We feel so blessed and lucky to have that hope fulfilled.

But even though we always expected a second child, we never expected it to be so soon after our first! The baby is due in July, which will make the two kids 15 months apart... unless she/he decides to come a month early like her/his big brother in which case they'll be 14 months apart!

Getting pregnant with Calvin was carefully discussed, timed, and planned. I just assumed we'd have the same luxury with our second pregnancy. I'm sure God thinks that is funny. And while I still find myself in disbelief at being pregnant again! So soon! I also find myself in total awe of the fact that this is my family and my future taking shape before my eyes.

When my brother and I were younger, my parents and their friends used to say that you're not parents until you have two children... with one you're just a couple with a kid. And I suspect that they were right. Just knowing that the second baby is on the way is a total game changer. Especially when the timing is so unexpected! Two in diapers, two in car seats, a double stroller? A high chair and a booster? Two Ergos? How do you get two kids to nap at the same time? How will I put them both to bed if James is working late? Will Calvin be jealous if the new baby is breastfeeding? Am I going to be able to carry Calvin in the Ergo on my back when my pregnant belly gets big? I don't know the answers to these questions, but I am sure going to find out!

But as many new questions as there are, there is also a brand new shiny glimpse at our future... I feel like God never lets me see very far down the road ahead. Just far enough to make decisions for now and just close enough to make me appreciate the present. But every once in a while something happens that is so important that it reveals possibilities I could never have imagined. Of course I still can't know what exactly lies down the road ahead, but new hopes start to take hazy shape in the light of this unexpected blessing... with two kids close in age they can be playmates; they can appreciate each other and learn from each other in ways that I suspect would be harder for kids distanced by more years. They'll be able to do the same activities, though they may have totally different interests. They'll be able to go to go to the same school most years because they will only be separated by one grade level. James and I really want to travel with the kids, and with them close in age we won't have the issue of having one kid too old to appreciate wherever it is we're visiting, or one too young to remember (although we'll have an infant on each lap when we fly to GA this Christmas!).

What I've heard from parents with kids closely spaced is that the first couple of years are hard, but the rest of their childhood is worth it. So we'll take the challenges with the blessings. The dirty diapers, the lack of sleep, the crowded apartment... with the joy of having a new baby and seeing our family grow like we always hoped it would.

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