Say what?

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Two things I hear all the time.

One.

“Are you done?”

Direct, to the point. That’s the question people often ask about my reproductive future.

Two.

“I’m so glad I’m past that stage.”

Always indirect, but equally to the point People don’t say it to me, but say it in earshot. They say it for me. It usually occurs when I’m chasing Cliff or Lillian, or excusing myself to change a diaper.

_____

No one who reads this should feel singled out should you be one who has said either of those things. Because, I can assure you, you are not alone. You are among very good company. And don’t worry, I’m not keeping track or keeping score.

I usually don’t answer the first. I just smile and let the question hang there.

When I hear the second, I admit, I always feel a little odd. I also feel a little old. Then I remind myself as I chase after my newly toddling boy, that although I may (technically) be old enough to be this baby’s grandmother, more importantly, I’m young enough to be his mother. And for that I am infinitely thankful.

Would I rather not be chasing him? The answer to that is the same as to a whole slew of other questions that go along with having a baby in the house … Would I rather not hold him and cuddle with him as he points to pictures in his books? Would I rather not hear his hearty laugh as Henry pretends to trip and fall? Would I rather not see him fold his sweet baby hands in prayer as we say these simple words, “Bless Us O Lord?” Would I rather not stare into his enormous brown eyes and be filled with the wonder and awe of the gift of creation that has been so graciously placed in the care of my unworthy hands and heart?

I’m happy for the chasing. I’m happy for the sleeplessness. I’m happy for the extra laundry and the carseats and even the diapers. I’m happy for the food on the floor, the baby proofing and the runny nose. I’m also happy for the growing, the wondering, the caring, the nuzzling, the learning and the loving. And I’m especially happy for that precious gift of life.

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is bliss, taste it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.

Mother Teresa

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