Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)
TITLE: Perfect Timing
By Linda Boulanger
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I’d ridden my husband’s bike that morning. My tire had been low and I was just tired enough not to want to take the time to air it up. Laziness at its finest. On his bike, I leaned forward more so than usual, creating the perfect position for me to feel the slightest of movements as I rode along the smoothly paved path. Thump. Thump, thump. Thump. I felt the wings of butterflies tickle the inside of my stomach as well. I shook my head in disbelief and laughed.
I hadn’t been planning to have another baby. I had my girl and my boy. In fact, my youngest had just started school. After the initial separation anxiety, I’d been overjoyed at the prospect of having alone time; time that I could use to accomplish unfinished tasks and perhaps even pursue a dream or two. Time not spent training up children. My best friend had joked that I would probably end up pregnant the first day of school. I thought about the timing. She probably wasn’t too far off, from my best guesstimate.
My thoughts turned to the tiny infant growing inside of me. I smiled. I wasn’t at all disappointed. I loved this baby already. I imagined holding him or her in my arms for the very first time after the grueling battle of labor. All the women I knew had said it was well worth it and I had to agree. There was no feeling comparable to looking into the eyes of a baby so new to the world.
I thought about those first few moments of life. It had to be frightening; the actual process of being thrust into a world of unknowns after being cuddled tightly inside for all those months. A baby went from being continuously swaddled, fed, warm, and safe to a world of bright lights, sounds, and smells. I’d always wrapped my babies tightly, fed them on demand, and held them when they cried. Others would tell me I was spoiling them. But I had happy babies that grew into well adjusted children. I followed the instincts the good Lord gave me and was met with success at every turn. I thanked Him for that.
This child would be no different. Together, we would face unique challenges, undoubtedly. No two children are alike. I looked forward to being able to focus my attention on baby number 3 without the others around. With my daughter, I’d been fearful at first. I was confused by the unwanted advice of well-meaning friends and family. It wasn’t until I’d learned that if I followed that voice inside alone, everything would be okay. I’d enjoyed the beginning of my son’s infancy much more. Yet, the care of two made for a different situation. He could not have all my attention because my daughter needed me too.
And this baby would not have it all either. Still, during the day while they were at school, it would be just the two of us. I fantasized of this time of alone togetherness; probably unrealistically so.
I laughed at myself; at my excitement of rearing yet another infant. I closed my eyes, though only briefly, as I glided along. I got the sense I was carrying a girl. My husband would be ecstatic. He’d come from a large family. He loved children; especially his own. He was a great father, even before they were born. He’d helped me to parent with joy. Even during the times I’d been afraid, he would encourage me. He’d always tell me God would let me know what to do. He was right.
The child that thumped inside of me as I rode along that morning was born right before summer break. She was welcomed into the world by people who loved her. I thought forward as I nuzzled her tiny form. She’d be just old enough when school began in the fall for me to put her in her pack and take her along on my morning ride…Oh, the fun times we had in store. God always knew exactly what I needed…and when.
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