Heading into the week of Spring Break, it looked like our family was about to turn a huge corner. In very similar fashion to how things progressed with my older two, mild contractions started getting harder and closer together until we decided it was time to drop the kids off at Grandma and Grandpa’s and head in to the hospital. The girls were thrilled and my younger daughter bragged that she’d prayed all day that her baby sister was going to be born today. In a surprising twist, however, all the discomfort I was enduring was not actually accomplishing anything! We got sent home! We’ve put another uncomfortable week into this waiting game, complete with waking up many times a night to sweaty, apparently unproductive, contractions. Many Tylenol PM’s later, I wonder what’s going to be left of me if I don’t get some sleep before the real thing sets in!
Despite my complaints and discomforts, this week turned out to be one of those true blessings: the gift of our unanswered prayers was a tremendous week of togetherness with the two big girls. Instead of spending it on late night feedings, sore body parts, and all the readjustments of infant care, I got to spend a week lavishing my girls with time and attention. My husband managed to take a couple of the days off, as well, making for a couple true family holidays! Many times, I’ve lamented that since they started school, I don’t get nearly enough time with my girls. I’ve resented the cost of child care over breaks, not because I don’t value the people who care for my children when I can’t, but because I hate the thought of paying someone else to do what I would so much prefer to be doing myself.
This week was such a fantastic counter-experience. Not because we went crazy and spent a million dollars on entertainment and activities, because we didn’t; we didn't even end up going to the movies, which seemed like a sure thing at the start of the week. It was all the little moments that brought us so much joy. We went to the park 3 days in a row. My older girl mastered kite flying. My younger daughter woke up and sneaked into my bed for a morning snuggle, spending more than a half hour straight talking my ear off about her friends, her fears, and her imaginings. Both girls got to spend 2 hours swimming at the community pool with Daddy, perfecting their back floats and finding out how helpful goggles are for retrieving rings off the bottom. We did a $3 shopping spree at the Dollar Tree and have played with Silly Putty A LOT since. We went to the St. Patrick’s parade and caught beads. We ate a feast of hard shell tacos at Taco Bell on 65 cent taco day and gave the backyard playset a good workout. We’re still hoping to squeeze in another swim, and some home-manicures…maybe some baking.
All week long, the girls nagged and begged for their baby sister to arrive; and I certainly shared their impatience. But, as with so many things, God knows best. I got to enjoy my daughters in such a special way. I’ll treasure it forever. We’re so excited to welcome their new sister, but this was a perfect celebration of the family we’ve been so far. And I’m so grateful God said "no" last Saturday. We'll take a "yes" now, whenever we can get it, though.
After the stone had been rolled aside, Jesus looked up toward heaven and prayed, "Father, I thank you for answering my prayer. John 11:41