My last post showcased my brother and his wife Nicole's pregnancy pictures and I wrote about their baby being due within the week.
Beckett John was born this past Monday, after 17 hours of labour. For me that day started with a text from my brother at 5:15 am, followed by a phone call at 5:30am, frequent text updates throughout the day, an ongoing facebook private message conversation with a good friend of theirs while we waited, and back and forth conversations with my mom. Finally, at 8:40 pm I got the phone call. She did it. She powered through the pain and fear and was able to birth him naturally, under the watchful eye of 2 midwives, a doctor and team of nurses.
Under a full moon and in the midst of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, the 16th Noble great granchild, the first one to carry on the Noble name, had arrived.
Driving to Walkerton the next afternoon to meet my nephew, I was caught up in memories of the births of my other nieces and nephews and of my own children. We received a phone call once we had arrived home from work way back in July 2002, and Glenn wouldn't tell me, he had to tell Jeff directly, that his first niece, Lauren Elizabeth, was here safe and sound. Cherie was a mom. His parents were grandparents. He was an uncle. Rylin Hayley was born on Easter Sunday, after a long induction, while we waited, and waited, and waited at the Wormington farm for news. I received a phone call at work from Jeff to tell me that Logan Roger had arrived, Jeff's first nephew, almost exactly a year after Makenna's birth. Quinn Breanna arrived after a long induction as well. We recieved the call while at my great great aunt's 90th birthday dinner. I was stunned that Quinn was a girl; so sure Becky had been carrying a boy.
Then there were my own two. Makenna Robyn took her own sweet time, making a weekend out of it and exhausting Jeff and I in the process. We watched coverage of Hurricane Ivan while we laboured. I smile at the memory of my mom, grandma and brother arriving first to meet the first of the next generation of my family. All 3 were speechless, my mom and grandma teary at the sight of her. I know my grandma was thinking of her late husband, my Grandpa Jack, and wishing he was there. Makenna brought a light back into her eyes that day. She made her a great grandma and gave her renewed purpose.
My brother was, surprise surprise, in the middle of a ball tournament. He arrived with them in his uniform, white ball pants dirty and grass stained. She looked so small in his arms, and he looked like he was afraid he'd break her. But right then and there I knew she had his heart.
Jeff's parents arrived and Beth sat right on the edge of my bed, looked me in the eye and asked how I was doing. I appreciated that. I whispered to her that Makenna was just perfect. And she was. No cone head, no baby acne, not even a birthmark. She was just a beautiful, quiet, strong nursing, beautiful baby girl. We were so blessed.
I fondly remember Cherie rushing into the room, her eyes lit up, so excited to meet the third baby in the last 2 years, all girls. Now she and both of her brothers all had a daughter. "Where is she, where is she?" she breathed.
And of course, my dad. My dad arrived and just loved her up. Taken with every inch of his first grandchild, amazed at the sight of her, so proud of me.
Jack Jeffrey arrived in February, during the worst snowstorm of the year. We had a hard time even getting ahold of my dad to tell him, as he was fighting a barnfire and the roads were impassible due to the weather. He was the last in the family to learn that his first grandson had arrived.
Both my mom and Jeff's mom were worried about us being in labour during this snowstorm. My grandma even prayed that I not go into labour that day because of the weather.
Jack's arrival was big news. The first Wormington boy. The first great grandchild of 13 to carry on the Wormington name. It was something Jeff's grandpa Roy had been waiting a long time for and we couldn't wait for him to find out. We lived the first few hours of Jack's life in shock that he was a boy. He was born at 9:36 at night, with a midwife in the Clinton Hospital and my adrenaline was so high that although he slept very well that night, I barely closed my eyes. I was so so so wired, a zillion thoughts running through my head about having a baby boy. I realized that after 3 1/2 years of "girl parts", I had no idea how to properly care for the "boy parts". Jeff's grandpa Roy, in his mid eighties, wanted proof that he was indeed male.
And next is Beckett John.
Yesterday while visting them for the second time, I was struck by the stages each of the 3 Noble grandhildren are at in life. We have a newborn baby, who eats, sleeps, poops and cries. As a parent you don't know what he wants, he can't tell you what's wrong, you're adjusting to having less sleep and learning on your feet as you go. You spend your days feeding, rocking, sleeping and gaining confidence. Babies are so full of promise. You can sit, for hours and just stare into their eyes, tell them everything you have to say about life, and they will just take it all in. They are little sponges, waiting for you to show them the ways of the world. I love that about newborns.
Then there's the 4 year old in his first year of Kindergarten. He's learning to read, and positively delighting his in ability to do so. You see the world opening up to him with each new word he recognizes. His teachers are fantastic and he is a little sponge, taking in all they have to offer him. I love watching children as they are learning to read and becoming more aware of the world around them.
While guiding my 4 year old as he learns to read and makes sense of and connections in the world around him, I am also parenting an 8 year old girl. While holding Beckett I wonder where 8 years has gone while I watch my daughter loving him up and cooing over him just as I do. She is reading at a level 3 years beyond where she needs to be. She is learning piano at a rate I couldn't. She is learning about empathy and how to put it to use in her daily interactions. She is becoming someone I can have real conversations with, about real issues, and yet she is still a little girl who needs to go to bed early in the evening to recharge her busy brain. She's a thinker, a feeler, an old soul with such a heart. She brings me to tears with her potential for greatness, and I don't mean potential for great achievements, I mean potential for great impact on others.
Last night, while cleaning our basement and still reminicsing about the baby stages we have already lived and learned through, Makenna came to me shaking and in tears, needing to disclose something she felt terrible about. Something she had done. I gathered her into my lap, bracing myself for...who knows what....when she came out with it.
Weeks ago, in music class, she had accidentally said a bad word. No one heard her, she didn't get into any trouble, it was weeks ago, but tonight she couldn't get it out of her head. She had to tell me, but begged me not to tell the teacher she had done it. She didn't want people thinking she was the kind of kid who swore.
Weeks ago. No one heard her. She never got in trouble. And here she was crying her little heart out, her soul so conflicted. She was beside herself. So hard on herself.
Inwardly, I smiled at the realization she had inherited her father's inability to lie to me or keep things from me. Always good to know.
Beckett is not my baby but he already has a piece of my heart. All three of these children are at very distinct, different stages in their childhoods; one literally just starting out with a blank slate and complete dependence, one on the cusp of the "tween" years who has a strong sense of social justice and independence, and one whose world is just starting to open up with possibilities and limited independence.
As I think of these three kids, as well as the other Wormington kids as I write this "stream of consciousness" type of post, I am stuck by just how lucky I am to be a parent. Just how full my life is because of the children in it. What being a parent has taught me about life, and what I have learned from the kids themselves.
I am blessed. So very blessed.
homemade Triscuit bites
2 hours ago