NAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN!
The legendary stork has been flying over my apartment building for some time now, flapping its wings wildly to make its presence felt. Last month, I invited it to perch on my window-sill and deposit a little gift in my lap. A sign of new hope: a fitting present for the Christmas season. Of course, it’ll be a long while before I actually get to see my gift. Will it be a boy or a girl? Will I have a normal delivery or be subjected to the surgeon’s scalpel? Time alone will tell. But for now, I just have to enjoy this nine-month experience and not grumble too much!
You would think that carrying a baby for the fifth time would make me a natural at this. But Oh No! it’s the same as the first. The first trimester trial of never-ending nausea overwhelms me as before. Whoever said it would be there only for the morning has had it easy, let me tell you. As for me, there is this perpetual desire to push down the awful taste in the mouth by constantly munching on sweets, biscuits, ANYTHING! Now I’ve taken to drinking small sips of water to ‘drown’ it all down. Which only creates another problem. I think you can guess what it is.
With my children delighted at the ‘good news’; my relatives and friends secretly and suitably scandalized, my husband over the moon as usual and my foes glad I am going to have more trouble to deal with than them, my bliss is complete. My general physician did a double take at the double line on my pregcolor card results then wickedly wrote a ‘GO’ sign on it. The gynaecologist tried to make sure I was really at peace with the situation, obviously not believing my overt enthusiasm. Guess they just don’t get crazy patients like me anymore.
Being an only child was lonesome. I recall asking my mother quite often why she didn’t have a brother or sister to give me. So I guess this sort of makes up for all I lost then. A full quiver is hard work but spiritually rewarding. The children are my greatest treasures; the only wealth I am told that I can take with me to heaven (if I land up there, that is.) So I figure I am a millionaire by these standards!
How does one manage such a large family? One doesn’t really; we just leave it in the hands of God. Somehow He takes care and provides for our needs. Of course, as the kids get older and wiser to the ways of the world, we will get demands from them but we can only give them what the good Lord gives us for them. This philosophy is difficult to accept for many people, I know, as it calls for complete trust in someone we have not seen but believe in. Prayer is our only weapon and lifeboat in the stormy ocean we battle in life. The family that prays together stays together is an axiom we take to heart as we kneel each night to say the rosary and sing Ave Maria. We even say the rosary when we travel by van, a practice that serves a dual purpose of keeping the kids well-behaved all along the way!
Handouts and hand-me-downs have become a way of life for us. Jumble sales are a blessing as are rich relatives. We seek out bargains like maniacs and keep a huge eye open for bulk discounts. Designer labels are an anathema for us; what we thrive on are seconds and rejects. Salvation Army, here we come! My wardrobe these days is crying out for a complete makeover but I am loathe to splurge yet again. So I’ve sent out SOS appeals to friends and well-wishers. Till I do get a decent one ready though, I am under voluntary house arrest. (Baby clothes are also welcome, BTW!)
The new arrival will bring with it new joy, new experiences, new sorrow and new life for all of us in the family. Each child being so unique in physical features and so differently talented has made me realize that no two human beings in this world can ever be the same. Stereotyping just isn’t part of God’s plan. I look forward to the coming of my little one into this beautiful world, and pray that he/she will fulfill whatever plan God has for him/her. For if each one of us did do just that, wouldn’t this earth perhaps one day become Paradise