Now that I have kids, I hate admitting that I never wanted them. I hate the fact that some days, I look at them and think of all the women I know who are more deserving of the blessings I’ve been so freely given: these children who were never part of my plan for my life.
It seems I never learn the lesson: what I plan isn’t really any good. I have a long track record with bad planning. Whether we look at my dreams of corporate success or my plans for…well, I’m not sure, really, what they were plans for. Was I going to just have sex over and over with whoever I wanted? Was I just going to live alone for my entire life?
While I refused to submit that marriage and family life was a good idea, I also had no better alternative in mind. Looking back, I see that there was a lot of pain in Younger Sarah’s life. A lot. Of. Pain.
But I also see a lot of pride. A lot of ego. A lot of “I can do it MYSELF” that’s all too familiar to me now that I live with people whose average age is thirty years younger than my own.
This weekend, I curled up with my kids on the couch with an old favorite book of mine. It’s one I’ve been meaning to read to my four-year-old, especially since he has shown some astute interest in both (a) how I pee and (b) how this baby is going to come out.
My answer to both has been a bit blunt and simple: I have a hole in my butt. I leave it at that. He has an answer, and I’m glad to have set him straight that (a) I am not going to explode and (b) I will not puke the baby out. (I think those are both worse options. Much worse. Much, much, MUCH worse.)
He ponders, and he watches, and he pokes my belly and giggles. (He doesn’t believe me, I don’t think.)
On the couch, my girls smiled knowingly, because the book we were reading together is one they love. My boy was restless, as he always is at the beginning of anything that involves sitting and cuddling.
But as we read through Angel in the Waters, he started asking questions. He’s a tactile little guy, and the umbilical cord and the world within me are fascinating to him, nonetheless when I explained that he had once been that baby.
It’s like I was discovering the new life within me—and around me—anew. Suddenly, the blessings these children are, the unabashed and unasked for gift that they represent, was almost too much for me.
Who am I that God would entrust these souls to me?
Well, at least I married a saint-in-the-making and I’m surrounded by lots of strong, faith-filled people. It’s proof, once again, that the divine plan is much better than any I may try to put together.