I started writing this on October 6 and then everything got busy and I never finished, but I wanted to come back and put this post together even though it’s after the fact.
It was a really quiet, sleepy day here on the 6th, the first anniversary of the first due date. Ana slept a lot that night (thank you, God!) and I did too. I really needed it; I was getting worn down from the busy days and tired nights. She had been up twice a night for a while and wasn’t taking a bottle since she suddenly decided last month that she didn’t do bottles anymore, so I hadn’t been getting my extra sleep on the nights Good Cop is home. Still working on the bottle but that’s another story.
The first birthday for our first stardust baby wasn’t as sad as it could’ve been. We had just been to a first birthday party for our friends’ daughter the day before, so all those one-year-old milestones were fresh in my head. It made me think more about what’s coming up for Ana than about what we’re missing, though, and that was good. I wish we had all of our babies here right now but four babies under a year old would kill me. Just one baby and two dogs almost does me in. It would be slow death by a million small frustrations and the perpetual feeling of being thwarted in my goal. From loading the dishwasher to calling about the airbag light on my dashboard, everything gets disrupted and sometimes it never gets done. I’m used to being productive, effective, and high-capacity. Now I can’t even come up with the word high-capacity without thinking hard for 30 seconds. There are some days that I’d love to drop her off at daycare and spend ten hours at work grinding up to-do lists and crushing deadlines. Being swamped at work sounds like heaven on these hard days! I knew I would miss work but I didn’t really understand why I would miss it. Now I do! I crave accomplishment.
Ironically, thinking about all of that helps me appreciate this season. It helps to acknowledge the whole picture and it puts me in the right frame of mind to enjoy today. Although Ana’s growing up too fast, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything since I’m right there with her almost all day and night. I have lots of memories with her and we even have some traditions. She’s still very high maintenance but she’s becoming a better and easier baby gradually and she’s healthy and smart, so it feels good to see the result of my thwarted goals and interrupted plans. I don’t know what the stardust babies’ personalities would’ve been and I don’t know what baby blackbird will be like, but Ana is so much like me. It’s a bit terrifying to think that I’ll be raising a version of myself, knowing my weaknesses and how sensitive and emotional I was as a child. But it’s also fantastically exciting. She’s not just like me, so there will always be new things to learn and surprising delightful twists. And there’s a chance that she’ll like building forts, reading books, and building imaginary worlds with mud cookies and milk-jug rafts. There’s a whole lot to love about her, the little “resurrection reborn.” She is alive and lively. Her mind never stops analyzing and exploring. She loves us and she loves being home. This Sunday we get to dedicate her to God at church; I can hardly believe I finally get to be one of those parents I envied for so long. Our baby, our love, our promise to give her every opportunity to know him and trust him. I think it’ll be one of my favorite days ever. The verse we chose for her dedication is all of Psalm 113. I memorized the first verses of it when I was really tiny and it was up on the kitchen window during the year of the stardust babies.
You who serve God, praise God!
Just to speak his name is praise!
Just to remember God is a blessing—
now and tomorrow and always.
From east to west, from dawn to dusk,
keep lifting all your praises to God!
God is higher than anything and anyone,
outshining everything you can see in the skies.
Who can compare with God, our God,
so majestically enthroned,
Surveying his magnificent
heavens and earth?
He picks up the poor from out of the dirt,
rescues the wretched who’ve been thrown out with the trash,
Seats them among the honored guests,
a place of honor among the brightest and best.
He gives childless couples a family,
gives them joy as the parents of children.