Well, the time at the tone is 8:15 p.m. and I have had contractions six minutes apart for the past 45 minutes. I've had them all afternoon, actually, but they have gotten progressively stronger and more consistent. I've done this two other times - once Sunday night and once at 4 a.m. Monday morning - but obviously that was false labor. Maybe this is too? Time alone knows, but I can say this feels different. And whether he is born tonight, or a week from today (which is when he is scheduled to arrive) pretty soon I will be holding my newest son.
And it's got me thinking about context.
I'm having a baby - if not tonight, then next week, but either way, I'm having a baby. And never before have I felt so content, and just ... happy with my life. Brian has recently been talking about the line in Psalm 46 that says "Be still and know that I am God." The literal translation for "Be still" is to "cease striving." That is what has happened in our lives. We have relinquished control. No longer aiming for perfection, no longer under the weight of expectations (however perceived or real they may have been). We just are who we are. Our family is who it is. And God is pleased with us.
Thanks be to God.
Letting go of the need to be right, look right, feel justified, or be accepted by a particular group - it is exquisitely freeing. It has given us both room to grow into who God actually created us to be, rather than feeling constantly frustrated or condemned because we are missing some perceived measurement of righteousness. It's a beautiful thing. And because of it, I just feel happy.
So welcome to the world baby Brennan. Whenever you decide to make your debut, welcome to life, and to our family. You have parents who are finally, six years in, accepting the beauty in the chaos of a house full of small children. You have a grown sister who will be fiercely protective, and sometime around age four, when you discover super heroes and ipads, you will realize just how cool she really is. You have two big brothers who are both so tender-hearted and endearing and as different as you can imagine, but who love you already. A big sister who I feel certain has the propensity to boss you around, but who has been fascinated with babies for months, watching in wonder and hovering until nervous mothers shooed her away. She is a loud, affectionate, boisterous baby girl, and she will never remember life without you. You have two grandmothers who love you already. One is, shall we say, free-spirited, and the other is the best cook around and your best chance at tasting whipped cream before your first birthday. You have grandfathers who will share what they love with you and let you play with their glasses or hearing aids, just because it will make you giggle. And the sweetest godmother, with a hopefulness and a purity of heart that you just don't come across very often. And aunts and uncles and cousins and a second cousin who is just about your age.
You aren't here yet, but you will be soon, and they are ready to fill your life with the noise and crumbs and love that make us a family.
We'll see you soon.