A week-ish ago, Cade and I scrambled over to the mall (not his choice of course…well, or mine really). This is not my favorite shopping season. As much as Caedmon loves his stroller, he’d rather run into oncoming traffic laughing the whole way. Which is why he’s bolted into his buggy AT ALL TIMES near traffic. So. That left a less than enthusiastic toddler to cheer on his momma as she fought fabric and zippers. Baby bump number 2 has decided to be drastically bigger than baby bump number 1. The dress I had ordered weeks before the wedding just kept getting back ordered prompting an emergency scramble to find something that would make me feel less like a beached whale and pretty for a short window of time.
Many many stores and a few meltdowns later we were finally in line at Anthropologie. Success. There was no one around so I was nicely chatting with the lady. She asked when I was due. Phew. Finally at that point where its clear there’s something ELSE going on inside my abdomen rather than just too much Haagen Daz Raspberry sorbet/vanilla yogurt goodness (don’t ask how many of those have been consumed this summer). I told her probably Thanksgiving day when i’m really going to be wanting to eat my mom’s stuffing. She laughed and said she was due on New Years Eve. She didn’t look pregnant yet, still early but comfortable enough talking about it. So we chatted baby. She asked what I was having and I said ANOTHER boy. Curse of the Klekers I’d say. She was also having a boy and she casually tossed in, “you know. Just as long as it’s okay, you know, 10 fingers ,10 toes.” And, although smiling still, my breath caught for a second. I laughed it off but my heart was not laughing. Yikes. What if, just what if, you don’t get 10 fingers and 10 toes? What if not okay is okay too? I wish I would have had the grace in that moment to offer, instead of a casual laugh, a word of wisdom. Sometimes the most beautiful experiences of our lives come out of something that is NOT OKAY. We’re terrified as human beings of anything “less than normal” or not “okay”. But I have gathered through many happy squeals and baby kisses that not “okay”, not “normal” is wonderful. And more so than a healthy, perfect baby of your dreams, the different ones, oh they are so good for the soul. They are the Lord’s blessing. They teach us to see things in different ways. To understand how good can come out of not good. It’s a reflection of a broken world that has it’s roots in a beautiful, perfect one, that our hearts would crave perfection, yes. I understand that. I crave it every day. I crave 10 fingers and 10 toes. But I am so so blessed to get to watch an amazing little boy RUN. He doesn’t have a single toe, albeit plastic ones (which hurt like heck when they step on you). But he is wonderful.
Here’s how I’d like the conversation to have gone: “You know what. I hear you. Healthy is more important than the baby’s gender but we didn’t get good news when we went in for that first ultrasound. Our little guy didn’t have 10 toes and would need surgery and prosthetics. I was devastated. But he is the most beautiful blessing I have ever known. So even if you don’t get perfect news or even what you expect. Not okay is okay too. You’re stronger than you will ever imagine and little ones like that open your eyes to the great, beautiful things of life.”
We’re clinging to our last bit of summer days while sneaking in pumpkin pancakes. I know I’m straddling two seasons but as I’ve always said, fall is one big warning sign that it’s about to get VERY cold and after this last New England winter. I’m pretending we get to reset back to the beginning of summer while secretly longing for maple lattes and leaf peeping. Here’s some more fun summer pictures: