It is March and you are still pregnant, still on the imagining side of motherhood, and on the uncomfortable side of being past your due date. Tired from crummy sleep, hungry from eating little due to heartburn, you wait and wait for your body to go into labor and deliver your baby. Even though you are not a mother yet, these days of waiting offer an opportunity to practice two essential traits for motherhood: understanding the limits of your control and patience.
There is much you can control. You and his dad will set the tone for your son’s home environment, decide the schools he attends, and select his activities as a child. Even in those realms his personality and temperament will impact and possibly limit your decisions. Currently, it is his birthdate that is beyond your control, in a few years it may be inappropriate words he shouts, the silly faces he makes at inopportune times, or a habit that you want him to quit. Think potty talk, stink eye, and thumb sucking. Years from now, it may be a sport or activity he begs to do that you never considered, and as he grows older his ideas and dreams, although influenced by you, will be his own. Motherhood is the continual giving of oneself without being able to control all the variables and knowing often you will have to patiently wait for the hoped-for result.
If you had a word-of-the-day calendar, every day this week should read, “Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay without getting angry or upset.” Even with the heightened anticipation, you try to be patient. At home, all is ready. Last weekend you searched for chores to keep yourself occupied, but your size and lack of flexibility stopped you from doing most anything. You scrolled through the television bored. Even reading, books which gave you solace since childhood, are merely words on a page that don’t make the minutes pass fast enough. Although tired, you continue at work, thankful it fills many hours of the day. Your patience is being tried. I can’t but think this is the first of many times you will wait for your son. I imagine you standing in the kitchen when he is a toddler demanding to put his coat on ‘all by himself’ even though you are late getting out the door. Someday you may be standing outside a school wondering why he is the last kid out of the classroom but once you see his sunny smile you melt forgetting the extra ten minutes you waited. Years later you will check the street for him and his pals to walk up the sidewalk after the first time you let him trick-or-treat without an adult, waiting anxiously to hear the exploits of his evening. There will be the waiting (and worrying) the first time he drives down the driveway in the car. And probably like your dad and me, you will stand at the arrivals area of an airport searching the sea of faces, waiting for him to be home.
His lack of timeliness is an opportunity for practice, for today and the days ahead, when you will need patience. Embrace it, he in all his wonder will be here soon. And you and his daddy, along with his awaiting grandparents will rejoice and welcome his arrival.
love each and every day,