“I didn’t give you the gift of life. Life gave me the gift of you.” (Anonymous)
Dearest Dolly (my beautiful, pregnant soon-to-be-mommy Sarah Elizabeth),
Last weekend, you called me very teary-eyed. “Mom, I’m just not ready for this baby. We don’t have anything set up in the room. I haven’t picked a pediatrician. We don’t have curtains. The house is not sterilized (and on and on the list went).” My first thought was that you are right. After many busy weeks working two jobs, being in two weddings, future maid-of-honor commitments and graduate school classes, you had not really done many of those things. The room was painted and the crib set up, but that was about it. And it could be any day now. You aren’t ready.
I tried to reassure you (and truth-be-told, myself) that it would all get done somehow and that your shower was tomorrow and people would give you fun things and hopefully that would all help with the preparation. My words fell short of the mark for your anxious heart (and my own). After a few moments of going around in circles and commitments beckoning once again, I thought to myself, “I am getting nowhere and you are just going to have to figure this out yourself (not my proudest hour).” We spoke a little longer and then we both had to go, you to wedding dress shopping with your best friend and me into the bank to get cash to pay for your shower.
Sarah, it’s a week later, a very different Saturday. A pediatrician has been picked, baby dressers, car seats and swings are set up, miniature clothes are hung in the closet or placed in giant drawers too big for them, and curtains are on their way (I don’t think the house has been sterilized but neither of us are germaphobes and don’t really care about that anyway – don’t judge us as you read this). All your “ducks are in a row,” as we like to say. Calmer hearts prevail. You are ready.
Or are you? The question looms in my mind. I swirl with thoughts about the coming weeks and your preparedness. Are you ready because his room is painted, child-care is figured out, onesies are neatly folded, infant Tylenol and baby wipes are purchased, and you’ve packed your bag for the hospital? My mind answers loudly. No, Sarah. No. Those things are good and necessary, but they are not what makes you ready. My dear sweet mommy-to-be, you are ready and this is why:
You have spent almost 26 years cultivating what matters, your inner self. Since you were just a little girl, you explored the broken parts of yourself and asked for help. You sought and still continue to seek wise counsel getting to know these areas, not shrinking back or avoiding them, but allowing God to come in and reveal and heal. What a gift you have given yourself and baby Broden. You are ready.
You have fed your soul with good things. You have sought a genuine relationship with your heavenly Father and in turn, compassion, integrity, kindness, grace, justice, truth, and love are what has come to matter the most in your life. You actively look to mete these out in the practical, everydayness on your journey. What a gift you have given yourself and baby Broden. You are ready.
You have chosen a really good partner to share your journey and parent with, someone who shares these same values of the inner life. Cody is authentic, adventurous (as we all know), discerning. fun-loving, sincere, hard-working, loving and willing to grow. We couldn’t have picked a better husband for you. What a gift you have given yourself and baby Broden. You are ready.
Over 26 years ago, I found out that there would be a surprise gift coming into my life in March of 1992. Little did I know then that the gift of Sarah Elizabeth would be one of the best of my life. Last February, you found out that there would be a surprise gift coming into your life in November of 2017. He, for sure, will be one of the best gifts you ever receive, as you were for me. But, remember sweet Sarah, you are giving him yourself, your broken, beautiful, in-process, creative, growing, loving, gracious, and kind self, and there is nothing that can even come close to that! This is why YOU ARE READY, precious daughter, friend and mommy-to-be!
I love you.
Mom (The Dolly Mama)