November 14, 2011

Of Births and Babies

Due to the large number of pregnant women at our church, my boys and I have had plenty of opportunities to discuss babies lately. Our friends' protruding bellies have provoked countless questions and countless stories regarding their own births: how Will made an early appearance, how Reese squealed like a piglet until the nurses wrapped him in a blanket, how Luke was born with dimples just like his Aunt Sarah's.
They love to hear the stories and I love to tell them. I love thinking on those fleeting moments, so full of life and exhaustion and pain and meaning and love. If I knew then what I know now about their personalities, their preferences, their quirks and abilities, I would have loved them even more in those first moments.
Today marks my middle child's 6th birthday. Surely it was only yesterday that I heard the piglet squeal, marveled at the grand swirl of hair sticking in every possible direction on his newborn head, rubbed his chubby cheeks, and snuggled all 8 lbs. 2 oz. of him.
I marvel at who he is becoming. This child who, at 2, had the "no's" so bad that he refused to open Christmas presents now is compassionate and sensitive toward others. This child who so stubbornly resisted reading or drawing now passionately loves school so much that he begged to stop trick-or-treating so he could go home and do homework. He has a creative, loving spirit and I can't wait to see who he will become.
At 6, he has also started asking some interesting questions. Yesterday, driving home from our community group full of little ones, we talked about babies yet again. From the backseat, Reese piped up: "How does a baby get out of their mommy's tummy?" 

Kyle and I looked at each other. "Well...." I started, searching for words. And then I went into the whole spiel about girl and boy bodies and how God made mommy bodies to push babies out. Of course, then we had to deal with why daddies can't carry babies and on and on. To top the tailspin of questions and prevent any "How do babies get in the mommy's tummy" queries, I reminded them of their own births, that they were pulled out of my tummy in surgery. After our previous discussion, this elicited a barrage of questions.
"With scissors?"
"I don't want to be in the black part {inside the tummy} again."
"How did they close up your tummy?"

The questions slowed to a trickle, the boys shell-shocked into quiet. Finally, Will broke the silence with a loud declaration:

"I am SO glad I am not a girl!"

You don't know the half of it, son.