Saturday, May 10, 2014

Passing on Moments

I'm in what you would call a season of resting and waiting. At 39 weeks, we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our beautiful baby. While conversations used to consist of weekend plans, drama at work, trips we wanted to take and who to meet up with for dinner, they've shifted almost completely to this precious one being knitted together within me. What features of ours will she have? Will she love pets and books and traveling and meeting new faces? Will she be brave and confident and kind and generous? Will she be eager and open-minded and full of grace?

And then all of these questions lead us then to the even bigger questions. Have we created this type of atmosphere between us? Have we created a safe place for her to grow and ask questions and make mistakes? Do we demonstrate kindness and character and forgiveness and grace in ourselves? Do we love unconditionally? Are we slow to anger?

At the end of the day, you don't start working on the atmosphere your children will be raised in when they set foot on this earth. That atmosphere starts being cultivated in your family, and through the relationships that you choose to build over the years. And then continues on in the first days of dating, your engagement, then on through the first weeks and months of marriage. This cultivation is a task that takes years of practice, and at this point I can only hope that we've forged through tough enough waters, having come out stronger and more loving on the other side. That we've forgiven and shown grace so many times that that has become our default. That our words are more kind and less harsh, more sincere, less annoyed.

In this period of waiting, I find myself revisiting big life lessons that I've learned over the years. Taking inventory of the memories etched in my mind, the hard moments, the nights where I felt full of life and joy, the days spent traveling and being challenged to think bigger than myself. How can I hold those precious life moments that, when accumulated, make up everything that I am? And not only treasure those moments for myself, but share those intimate places with my children and spur them on to seek and to live out their own moments?

I don't know the answer to any of these questions, and it will be years before I do, if ever. But I do know that this precious daughter of ours will be fearlessly loved, sacrificed for, carried through hard moments, inspired to dream bigger, and be woven into a family tapestry that is more vibrant and colorful than she can imagine.

Sweet baby, we are so ready to meet you. Come join us soon.

1 comment:

Susan said...

This is so beautiful and so true, and will be one of the most precious pieces of writing in your history of sharing your thoughts. It's something you should share with your daughter when she begins dating, and something you can refer back to throughout all of the stages of your children's lives.

Happy Mother's Day, my friend. It is so clear to me that you and Patrick are going to be such amazing parents. Baby West chose very well from up there in heaven!!

And just so you know, I'm saving this to share with MY kids. Thank you for this wonderful gift!