He called in the middle of the week. Did we want to meet them for ice cream? Of course! There was something in his voice, something in the air. Keith and I smiled about the possibilities as we drove to meet them on a thick July evening. We ordered our favorites and headed over to the picnic table. As we spooned cold sweetness into our mouths. They shared their news. There is a baby on the way. My heart swelled. Their eyes looked huge. Fear tugged at the edges of their faces, but love and hope filled them up.
We were sworn to secrecy. The baby was only the size of a lentil. They had an app with daily updates about the size and activities of the wee one. They were scheduling doctor appointments, learning the dos and don’ts of pregnancy. It would be a few days until her parents were informed. Another month before their siblings and grandparents would learn the news, and another month after that before the news would be made public.
In the months since they shared their news, we’ve talked a lot about fears and hopes, dreams and concerns. Like all new parents, they are a bit in shock I think. Brian’s early pride has given way to a tenderness that touches my heart. He monitors her wellness, reminds her of the rules, and watches her with wary concern. The other day he told me she woke up sick again, and I could hear his care in the shape of his words.
They are our planners. Unlike those of us who stumbled into parenthood, unaware and a bit clueless. These two have planned for this, made decisions about timing, and cleared their life in preparation. I don’t know anyone who has spent more time thinking, worrying, and planning for this next phase of life. They are reading the books. I found What to Expect When You’re Expectingon the coffee table soon after they shared the news. Together, they will come to parenthood as together and prepared as anyone I’ve ever known. It is in their natures.
Their training, education and experience actually may put them at a disadvantage. They both work in fields focused on everything that can possibly go wrong. As an ER Vet and an EMT, they see the worst days in other people’s lives over and over again. Each of them will come to this with a whole lot of information that most of us do not have. I can’t decide if it will help or hinder them. I guess it doesn’t really matter. It will be what it is.
I am certain, however, that they will be amazing parents. Their love for life, their sense of fun, and their determination to engage life is contagious. These two are connected, compassionate, and clear about the things that matter most to them. Watching them move through this process, make adjustments, address their concerns, and watch and wonder at the miracle of new life leaves me certain that this is a lucky child indeed.
We are also certain that this baby will be adored. He/she already is. We are all secretly hoping for a girl. The thought of Brian being wrapped around the pinky finger of a bright eyed darling is enough to make us swoon. Brian on the other hand is hoping for a brute of a boy to wrestle and tussle with.
It is an amazing thing to watch adult children grow into their lives. Living nearby means that we are blessed to get to watch both the day by day changes that maturity and time bring into their lives, as well as the monumental moments by which we mark our lives. A year ago, we were planning a wedding. Five years ago, the kids were moving out into the world on their own. Now, we are preparing to welcome our second grandbaby.
Our friend Tom says that when he looks at his grandkids, he doesn’t want the next ten years to pass. He would stop time right here in this moment. I get that. While I can’t figure out where the switch is to actually make that happen, I am determined to slow down enough to enjoy each of the days that will make up the next ten years. I think that slowing down, paying attention, making time for the people who matter most are really the only things we can do to honor the beauty of these precious moments.
So, if you are looking for me, you can expect to find me watching a bug climb up a thin line of grass in the backyard with Teddy or showing up at dusk to introduce glow lights and bubbles into the nightly bath routine. When the #BabyBoucher2019 arrives, I’ll be adding long cuddles and slow evenings to the mix as I soak up the wonder of life in these moments. This is the good stuff. I don’t want to miss a thing.