Do you remember some special beginnings?
The birth of a baby represents the ultimate beginning. Right now, several of my friends are becoming grandparents as our children hit their twenties. It makes us all feel older, of course, but it also beings in an amazingly thrilling sensation. Adding a new generation to a family brings so many emotions into a household. So much hope and joy as we realize what the future promises for this special child.
Every morning of every day we can begin with freshness and hope for positive change. Every year on January first, we make new commitments to be healthier, to quit smoking, to write that novel. The start of a new school year brings on new ambitions and promises. I will do my homework as soon as I get home. I will make the honor roll. I will make the team.
The start of a new relationship always brings the faith and belief that THIS time I will get it right…THIS is the one. Some people thrive on the beginning stages of relationships. When the newness of it all wears away into the familiar, they are gone.
People have all kinds of beginnings. We give birth to ideas, start companies, begin retirement or a vacation all with the familiar emotions that accompany anything new. Excitement, nervousness, hope and a little fear thrown in to keep us grounded.
But of course, the ultimate beginning is that of a new life.
My first child was born twenty-six years ago. She was the first grandchild on both sides of the family, so there was much anticipation as the time approached. New to the experience of pregnancy, I read everything I could find on the subject, asked all kinds of questions and took really good care of myself. I loved being pregnant despite the aching varicose veins and some sore feet. I bought horrible looking maternity pants with wide elastic panels and shared lingering conversations with many friends who were pregnant at the same time. Some of the women felt better than others. Some were know-it-alls, dominating every conversation with facts and figures. Others decorated their nurseries months ahead of time with coordinating linens, curtains and slipcovers.
I made my baby a simple quilt of pale lavender and orange fabrics, knowing it would work for my baby boy or my baby girl. I pieced it and stitched it all by hand. Then I made a framed needlepoint of Peter Rabbit, to be followed later by one with my baby’s name and birth date. I bought books, favorites from my own childhood, and placed them on a shelf in the room that would soon belong to my child. Friends of my mother’s gave me a shower and I received an amazing amount of sweet outfits, toys and soft cuddly creatures for my unborn child. These gifts soon filled up the warm bedroom waiting for a new presence. It had been a sterile extra space in our small house but it slowly transformed into a gentle, welcoming bedroom, complete with rocking chair and lace curtains. That room had a new beginning, too.
Because I gained quite a bit of weight, my doctor decided to do an ultrasound, questioning the original due date. In those days, having an ultrasound was rarely done. And no one knew the sex of their baby ahead of time. I had no idea if we were having a son or a daughter.
When the ultrasound results came back, I was told that our due date was a month off and that the baby’s size indicated a late February birth instead of one in early April. As we only had about three weeks left in the month of February, we hastily prepared for out little one’s arrival and then sat around until April 7th when I finally went into labor. She was just a big baby. She was right on time.
Our hospital was small and my doctor was a wonderful man. The labor went quickly, but there were signs of distress coming from the baby, so my doctor said he was considering a Caesarean. No way was that sounding like fun to me. Fortunately, with a few large pushes, my beautiful daughter arrived.
Never had I felt such joy.
We were a family. I was a mother. It was the beginning of a treasured experience that remains my greatest source of pride and happiness. My baby girl. A new beginning unlike any other I had ever known.
Her birth was not dramatic. She did not arrive in the back seat of a car or in an elevator. She did not cause too much of a fuss when she slipped into the world. But her arrival set me on the path of motherhood, a role I cherish more than any other. It was a fabulous new beginning.
Do you remember some special beginnings?
“No river can return to its source, yet all rivers must have a beginning.”