The magical thing about waiting for a baby is the anticipation of falling in love all over again. But the thing I wasn’t expecting is this: the magic of watching my children fall in love, too.
Alex is 6 ½ years old now, old enough to sit around drawing during natural family planning classes, which inevitably leads to him coming over and asking me what we’re talking about. And he’s preparing to read at Mass for the first time next week—the reading is Romans 8:18-25, which aside from being the most unfriendly 1st grade reading ever, sparked this question: “Mommy, what’s ‘labor pains’?”
That was a moment to whisper: Holy Spirit, help me explain this in an age-appropriate manner. (If you’re interested to know how I explained it, let me know.)
The upshot of all this is that Alex is in a very different place now than he was preceding the birth of either of his siblings. He’s even asked to miss school and come to the OR for the birth. Although I’m pretty sure we said no and left it at that.
Every night for some time now, he’s wanted to say good night to the baby. He comes over, gives me a hug and a kiss, and then hunches over to press his lips against my belly. A few months ago he whispered. Now, thanks to the great WWW, he knows the baby can probably hear him, so he just baby-talks to it, incorporating all the lessons he’s learned along this journey. “Good night, baby! Now you go to sleep and wake up in the morning. Remember what I told you! It’s time to start acting like a human now, because you are one!”
Not to be outdone, Nicholas pops up out of his bed and pats my belly, too. “Doo-night, beebee!” he says. “I yuh you, beebee!”
Julianna looks at her brothers and giggles, because they’re talking to Mommy’s belly, but she also comes over and pats the baby and does a little baby-talking. It sounds something like “deh-beh-bdeh!” in the highest pitch she can muster…the same noise she uses for “cat.” And although from this paragraph you might not think it, I do believe she knows what’s going on, even though it is such a conceptual (read that non-concrete) thing to understand.