May 10, 2013

Confessions of a Mother-To-Be

Today is Mother’s Day in Guatemala. Booming firecrackers and fireworks began at 3am, waking mothers everywhere for this special day. Heaven knows mothers would rather wake up earlier instead of sleeping in on their one day off. Kids have special programs at school for their moms, and take the rest of the day off to spend time with their moms. It’s a real holiday here, rather than a “here’s a random card from the gas station to say thanks for carrying me, pushing me out of you, raising me, and putting up with me for all these years” kind of day.

I am 27 weeks pregnant with our first child, what I assume must be the easiest stage of motherhood. No other kids to look after, no waking up in the middle of the night (besides my three bathroom breaks of course), and no dirty diapers. I mean, my only “motherhood challenge” so far has been to accept these new hips and butt that came out of nowhere.

Yet that didn’t stop students, teachers, and parents wishing me a happy Mother’s Day and bringing me flowers, a donut, and chocolate today. Now, I’m not saying I didn’t thoroughly enjoy that donut; I’m just saying that I don’t feel like I have quite earned the title of “mother” yet.

Because if I’m being honest, what I think of as truly being a mother slightly terrifies me. Being a mom is experiencing labor pains, like pushing a watermelon out of a key hole kind of labor pains. It’s paying for diapers and baby clothes and diaper rash cream instead of that dress I want. It’s less “just us” time. It’s all-nighters, and stinky diapers, and smelling like sour milk, and not sleeping in, and staying home, and not teaching. It’s soothing tears, and having to share my ice cream cone, and being at my wits end. (Does that ever happen?) Years down it’s sports events, and play practice, and carpooling, and arguing, and being “the worst mom ever.”

And I wonder if I can ever be that selfless…I wonder if I can ever do as good of a job as my mom did.

Thankfully, all of our baby’s long-legged kicks remind me to daydream of all the good to come too. I imagine holding our baby for the very first time. I fantasize the fresh baby shampoo smell after their bath. I see some strawberry blonde curls, or even better, a mini replica of Collin. I picture teeny tiny socks for teeny tiny feet. I feel baby snuggles and soft, footy pajamas. And I see Collin and me embarking on this slightly terrifying and exciting journey of parenting together: through our child’s first smiles, laughs, words, and steps; through their hurts, and joys, and milestones, and victories.

So here’s to the moms who I feel have actually earned that title…who have selflessly earned that title. And here’s to all of us wanna-be’s out there about to find out what being “mommy” really means. Yikes.

Happy Mother’s Day.

We have definitely felt the generosity and love of our Inter-American School friends and family. We have had two baby showers already and have two more coming soon.

The debate over whether we are having a boy or girl is quite hot as well, with standings at about 50/50. If you look closely at the photos, you will see some gender-specific clothes, from a few who are certain of what we are having. I have heard everything from “your butt is big, you’re tired all the time, you crave sweets, you’re having a girl,” to “your stomach is pointy, you’re carrying low, you are always hungry, you’re having a boy.” So who knows? We will find out in a few months.

Anyways, our second school year here is coming to an end. Our last day of school is May 29, and we fly to the states on May 30. Between a couple of weddings, family vacation, making it to our normal Midwestern stops to see everyone, golfing (Collin), and trying to keep my ankles from turning into kankles (Kendra), it’s going to be a wonderful and busy summer. We are looking forward to it.

Grace and Peace,