An incredible thing I’ve already noticed about having a child is its simple and unmatched ability to bring a family together. Super cliché, I know. But kind of true.
The third trimester and I are not getting along very well, and I’ve felt considerably less than 100% for the past few days. This morning I called my mom to ask about some coupons I thought she might have. This evening she called back to check on me, saying I didn’t sound well this morning, and wanting to know if anything could be done to make it better. This is typical Mom behavior, and something I appreciate—that she can tell when something’s not right without my having to say anything.
But tonight I realized that this particular conversation happened in many ways because of our baby; we need coupons to buy another rug for our new two-bedroom apartment, and I feel gross because the baby is growing big time this week. Now my parents are always generous with their time and energy with us, and do whatever they can to help us out. But with this baby in mind, really everyone in our lives has been even more willing to be a part of this special and challenging time.
John and I have always been close to our families. When we were engaged, people would ask me if I got along with John’s parents, and if he got along with mine. If only they knew! His parents were calling me daughter, minus in-law, much before the big day, and my parents were celebrating John’s birthday with gusto years before as well.
This past weekend I was home for a baby shower, turned barbecue and was again in awe of the love pouring out of our family and friends, who were filled with excitement for us, for this baby, for a new member of our family. I’m always happiest about our Peanut when I’m in New Jersey, and this weekend was no exception. I learned there is nothing in the world like seeing a smile on my brother’s face as he reaches out to touch my belly.
“Weird,” I asked him, “right?”
He nodded, “Yeah. Weird.” But perfect.
At the same time that I am humbled by the love I feel when I’m with my family these days, I realize it’s kind of a shame that we probably wouldn’t be spending as much time together if it weren’t for this baby. Sure, we see our immediate families often enough (thanks, NJTransit!) and we manage to see most of the extended family—both sides—at holidays, but there’s a tangible expectation and a new joy that hangs in the air when we get together now. Sounds cliché, I know. But maybe you have to be in it to see how true it can be, like a cheesy chick flick. Seems silly on screen, maybe, but when you’re living out a truly romantic moment in real life, nothing seems more natural.
And so tonight I am simply grateful—for my family, for my friends, for the little ambassador Peanut that we are all so anxious to meet. . . . even if it does seem to think my bladder is a trampoline at the moment.