by Mary Becelia
There you are, big bellied and glowing. Your blonde hair is pulled back in a jaunty pony tail, and a huge smile is on your face as you open your baby shower gifts: Tiny onesies...crocheted receiving blankets...colorful board books, wee rattles and soft, plushy toy animals in a rainbow of pastels. I can't believe you are having a baby in a couple of short weeks, Beth, any more than I can quite wrap my mind around the fact that my daughter, Katherine, your cousin, was born nearly eight years ago to the date your baby girl is due!
Katherine is thrilled at the idea that she may get to share a birthday with her second cousin, and I think it's pretty neat too, not only because of the kinship connection, but because you are going to be a Mother's Day Mama, just like me. I take the liberty of defining this loosely, since Mother's Day moves around a bit each year--let's just say that a Mother's Day Mama is anyone with a baby born on or around Mother's Day. With your due date of May 13, you definitely qualify—welcome to the club!
Up until recently, however, we haven't been very close, nor had very much in common. When I married your uncle, you were about Katherine's age and I was in my late 20's, childless and (to be honest) not very interested in children. You and your brother were cute kids, but I wasn't quite sure how to play Polly Pockets with you the couple of times you tried to engage me. And when you showed off your hissing cockroaches one time I think I may have visibly recoiled. No, I was not a "kid person" until I had kids of my own...and by that time you were a teenager, busy with school, sports, friends and boys, and I'd long missed my window to be a "fun aunt" to you.
Suddenly, though, you've became an adult. Graduated from nursing school. Got married. And now that you are on the cusp of motherhood, I feel like we've finally connected a little bit more...motherhood being our new common ground. You're going to be a young, active, and fun mom. I got started a good bit later, so I guess I get to claim the benefits of wisdom and maturity in my mothering style. Across this divide, though is less than five years between my youngest and your eldest-to-be, and oh, the fun I hope those little second cousins can have together down the road!
So here you are, in the home stretch of your pregnancy. Washing those onesies, putting the final touches on the nursery, smiling at the other pregnant women you see out and about. Motherhood is a big, (and very messy!) adventure that you are going to be embarking upon soon and, just this once, I will hold back on my usual ranting and raving about the rigors of all night nursing, squalling infants, exploding diapers and the like. This time I'll enter your world for a minute and enjoy pleasant musings of a sweetly sleeping baby curled up in my arms, of wispy little curls, rosy, plump cheeks and tiny, tiny fingers and toes.
Enjoy these final, dreamy weeks of your pregnancy, Beth...and all you other soon-to-be Mother's Day Mamas out there...smiling and daydreaming your way through these warm spring days. I remember well how it is...the sense of timelessness you have when awaiting the arrival of your first-born. And for each and every one of you, may your first Mother's Day as a real, live mom be so very, very happy.