One of my sisters-in-law (The Coach) and her husband (The Bald Coach) have just had a baby. She's a gorgeous, fat, smiley baby and I adore my newest little niece. During family vacation, I walked and bounced and cooed with and over her little 1-month-old self. And when she cried for too long, I handed her back to her parents with a smile. It hasn't always been so simple with me and babies.
On the one hand, my babies nearly killed me. Both of them had colic, so the Engineer would come home to me crying along with our baby. With Monkey, it was worse, a crying mommy, toddler and baby. And then, after she outgrew colic, she started having ear infections, like every 2 weeks. It was a miserable time It is a wonder the poor Engineer didn't run for the hills when they were babies. He slept many a night on our couch with an infant on his chest, just to give me a few hours of rest.
BUT, both Hedgehog and Monkey are girls. Lovely, frilly, sparkly little girls, and I had always wanted boys. Little miniature Engineers to carry on the family name. I had visions of the Engineer playing catch with him in the front yard, and thought about them hunting and fishing together. But, you can't just put in an order for a boy baby, and we didn't want to keep trying indefinitely, so I got my tubes tied after Monkey.
Some time during my sleep deprived, crying baby Monkey fog, Jeff said to one of the in-laws that we'd just adopt if we wanted a boy. I latched on to the idea like a drowning person grabs on to a boat. And for another year, I dreamed of going and picking me out a little boy to take home with us. The in-laws weren't excited and even my own parents had some pretty old-school ideas about adoption. So, we both prayed, and I was sure I would be able to pray the Engineer into going along with my plan. God, and the Engineer, however, were not on board.
And I was MAD. I could not fathom why the answer was no. It felt as if God and the Engineer were being unloving by denying me a son. Every friend who had a new son was a fresh pain in my heart. Being happy for pregnant friends was difficult for me.
Much, much later, my sister got a divorce. And her substance abuse problem resurfaced. And my nephews went to live with my parents. The nephews now spend most of their school holidays at our house. And I thank God that we didn't adopt, that we have a spare room in our house for these two little guys, who look nothing like the Engineer but that we have the privilege of helping to grow up.
So now, babies make me happy again. I can trust God a tiny bit more, now that I can see that the "no" was just part of the plan. I don't need a baby any more to convince me that I am loved.