I love newborns. I really do. (Good news, right, since I'm 39 weeks pregnant with our 4th child!) But, it's true, I could spend hours admiring each little feature of their tiny new bodies. I remember feeling elated when I discovered Elise's first little boogie and bit of earwax - thinking, "Wow, she really works!" I think I could have gazed at her all day and watched her little eyelashes grow in real time. I could say the same for my boys when they were newborns - so sweet, so amazing, such a gift...especially in those first days when you're in a sleepy, happy daze and have been granted some reprieve from the rest of life's responsibilities.
The other truth that I'm staring in the face is the fact that there are some major growing pains on the horizon for all of us...and honestly, I'm terrified.
Our first three kids are all around 19 months apart, so there wasn't a whole lot of time to catch our breath before we were getting ready to welcome another new member to our family. Now, Lucas (our youngest) is two and a half and things are different. I don't have anyone in diapers, everyone is almost guaranteed to sleep through the night, the kids can (for the most part!) communicate their needs to us, and we've enjoyed a little taste of independence (both for them and for us)...you know what I mean...I guess it just feels like we've entered a different phase of parenting with little ones...
It probably doesn't help that we don't have a name picked out yet and I have a list a mile long of all the "pre-baby" things I've been wanting to accomplish. (I wish my tired swollen legs would be more agreeable with my current "nesting" instincts!)
I think I also worry about the time and patience and energy that I'll have in the weeks ahead - doting on a needy infant while still desperately wanting to cuddle with Lucas and his doggy blanket when he comes and asks me to put the blanket on my shoulder and hold him. What if it's months before I can pull everyone up to the counter to make a batch of muffins for an after school snack - or - plop down on the couch with a pile of books when we're all falling apart before dinner and just need "a break" - sigh.
Life with a newborn is wonderful and chaotic all at the same time. I know I'm about to lose "control" over our everyday routines and it will take time to establish new routines as we grow into our new roles as a family of six. It's like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff...
Thankfully, I know I'm not alone...and I have a parachute.
While we wait, I will do my best to savor these days (and not worry them away) - to enjoy our "normal" routines - and to thank God for all that He is showing me as we prepare for our newest little bundle of love.