by Jason Schumaker
Any day now my wife, Katy, is due to have our first child! It is an exciting time, and a curious sort of limbo. I refer to myself as being in the "pre-Poppa" stage. This is the time when baby could be born at any minute, any day! One of the most frequently asked questions I get is: "Are you ready?" That is a tough one to answer. I think this look says it all:
Part of me is ready to be done with the waiting. While another part is more than willing to give it another month! At any rate, we think that we're ready, and that's about all that we can do. Nature will have to take care of the rest.
I have been doing my fair share of reading about the birth process, parenting, fatherhood, and motherhood. One of my favorite blogs is SouleMama. The writer has a delightful Friday ritual of posting a photo from her life without words, titles, anything at all. For a nice example check out this photo of the writer's kids on a camping excursion, here: https://www.soulemama.com/soulemama/2010/05/this-moment-3.html.
Katy and I are avid backpackers and campers, so we're already planning the little one's first camping trip. I connected with this photo, as it gave me a glimpse of a future that isn't so far away anymore. Just a simple chronicle of that specific moment in time. It made me look back through some of my recent photos and this one really got my attention ~ a photo of the soon-to-be-mother's belly:
This was from nearly two months ago. While we don't yet know the sex of the baby, we do know that there is only one baby in there! "The Belly", as we call it, has grown outward and downward quite a bit since this photo was taken. We have been given many nuggets of wisdom in the last 9 months. Advice has ranged from "enjoy the end of the life you used to have", to "you're going to cry a lot the first few weeks". The last one came from a male friend of mine. I'm not sure if he meant that I would be crying tears of joy, or pain. Maybe a bit of both! Either way, I can look at the picture above and think about the end of one way of life, or the beginning of another. I choose to look forward. Having a baby isn't about what you give away, it's all about what is coming to you.
Of all the comments, advice, and words of wisdom I have heard or read, I like these from the SouleMama's little son commenting on his newborn brother (here's the link):
"Mom. Can you even believe he's here? Like, before he was born, we went more places and stuff. But now? Now we have the coolest person in the world right here! With us! Every day!"