I wrote this two weeks ago and sat on it, wondering if maybe my feelings would change as I got closer to the new year. Nope not so much, but this is why New Year’s has always been so special to me. Here’s to a fresh start, new experiences and more joy with my growing family!
I am not in the habit about blogging about bad times, which is why I haven’t done a lot of blogging this year. Is it the year — 2013? — or was it just a series of unfortunate events? I don’t believe in giving a mere number such power, so I’m going to believe that this is just life — up and down.
When we started 2013, we were still in the middle of Trinity’s layoff. He was hired, thankfully, by the Orange County Register in March and is doing well there, but the glow of that small victory didn’t last long. In June, we were given 30-days notice to vacate our place in Ventura County (60 days in advance, but details). We had been looking for a new place since Trinity started at the Reg, but were not certain on where we should be — we looked from Burbank to Rosemead to Montebello, a large swath, if you’re familiar with Southern California geography. While the 30-day notice was not ideal, it did light a fire under us, and we finally decided to focus on the San Fernando Valley, to keep the boys near their daycare and cut down on the number of things we had to find that summer. We moved into our new place in August, and a month later, I discovered we were expecting our third baby.
I was an emotional wreck over this, I hate to admit. I had been so certain we were done having kids, that I’d given away all my early baby gear — clothes, playpen with changing table, bassinet, Boppy pillow — donated my maternity clothes and sold my breast pump. The little bit of money we’d save when Chris went from infant to toddler status at his daycare was going to be earmarked for a new used car for Trinity, who has been running his car ragged on hard commutes, first to West LA and now into the heart of Orange County. Public school — and the end of paying daycare tuition — seemed close enough to touch. And then not one, but two pregnancy tests confirmed we were expecting a third. Gut check.
It occurred to me this morning that this is life. Life has its good times and bad times, its hard parts and easy parts, but in the end, even a life that was mostly hard is usually remembered as a good life overall. Life also doesn’t always go as planned, and as I grappled with the idea of having a third baby, I purposely avoided my favorite Scripture, Proverbs 16:9 — “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”
But my kids have been an inspiration, now that I’ve settled down and have come to terms with this pregnancy. Michael, especially. As they say, a little child shall lead them. I coached Mike in telling my family about the new baby, I fully admit it. At the time, I don’t think he really understood what he was saying, but as the pregnancy has progressed, we have been talking to him about his new baby brother more and more and I think it has been sinking in. He got truly excited when we showed him our latest ultrasound pictures and the DVD at my 20-week appointment. He is now asking me to take out his new baby brother and that he wants to see him NOW. I tell him that his new baby brother is still growing, so now, if asked about where his new baby brother is, Mike says, “he’s still growing.”
It is so inspiring to me. Mike isn’t worried at all about the thought of a new baby brother — he’s not worrying about money, or time, or stuff; not worried about any loss of love, or toys or food, or whatever. He’s just thrilled at the idea of another brother, with no concern for provision. It’s been a lesson to me, to stop worrying and to trust that God will provide. Jesus did say, after all, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
So, to summarize 2013 — it’s been a tough year, but I’ll mostly remember the good times, God planned this baby, so God will provide for him and for our family. Happy new year!