June 17, 2013

A Season of Warmth and Wait

{from a last minute maternity photo session}
"And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, 
just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction 
that life was beginning over again with the summer." 

The days are somehow passing slowly as of late, as feverish, sticky summer days tend to do. Millie pretends to 'cook ice cream cones' in her play kitchen, I've been drinking gallons of mint sweet tea, and Sky washed and waxed the car in the afternoon heat. We've found ourselves knee-deep in the middle of an Illinois June, always looking at the due date scrawled on scratch paper and knowing it's a mere handful of hours or days until there will be another one here with bare feet and a dewy brow.

It's strange to be in this season of lazily spinning ceiling fans at night, sudden thunderstorms breaking afternoon skies, and the smell of hamburgers sizzling on a neighbor's charcoal grill. Everything seems calm and swelteringly still, as if the rest of the world is unaware of the baby's cry about to break the silence. Inside this house, though, every pain that ripples through my stomach to my back makes me wonder if that one is the beginning. Every sharp breath has Sky asking me if I'm all right. In the evenings, I curl up on one side and wonder if the house will be still another night or if the silence will be broken. In the mornings, I wonder if the day will pass like all the others, or if something new will come.

Meanwhile, the small parts of life go on. Sky and I prop pillows up behind us and watch re-runs of old shows (Arrested Development, no less). Millie and I sit on the balcony, eating popsicles that turn our mouths funny colors and blowing bubbles that disappear on the breeze. We cook simple meals that don't require a blazing oven, swat at flies that sneak past the screens, and live the bits of life that don't always make it onto a blog post, like when Millie made her first 'real' picture, waving her watercolor brush and declaring she had painted a tree.

The days begin slowly and end slowly, too. But when my belly jolts against my palm, or tightens up into another contraction, it speeds them up just a little. Everything is being done "the last time before". The last church service as a family of three. The last few meals to cook and pop into the freezer. The last time the back of the car won't be cramped with car seats. The last shopping trip that consists of waddling through the aisles at a turtle's pace.

I lived this life for 25 years before meeting the boy I would marry. I lived it for nearly 26 before meeting my daughter. And I'll have lived it for 28 years before meeting the baby I'll see very soon. It's been such a unexpected journey that has taken me to this place, but I know these humid days of June are the most blessed June days I've ever had in all these years. I'm trying to savor every moment of them now, knowing there will be even more beautiful ones to come.

13 kind comments from you:

Allison said...

You write so well. I read this one out loud to my husband, after he asked why I looked so smitten. "She sounds like an author," I said. Just thought you should know.

Can't wait to hear news of the new baby!

charla beth said...

this is absolutely stunning. you are such an incredible writer.

Trista Laborn said...

Take it one moment at a time! God Bless!

Manu said...

so Sweet !!!!


Mel said...

I love her watercolor picture. It's definitely a tree! :)

A Girl said...

Just lovely. I've always adored your writings and getting to live this reminiscing stage through it has been so amazing.

I can't wait to meet the little one, but I've enjoyed your reflections as of late :)

Jenn said...

I swear to you, reading your blog feels like reading a good book. I hope Baby 2 is a nice sleeper and gives you plenty of time to keep writing. ;)

Mrs. B said...

Love it! It's amazing how quickly a pregnancy (or deployment goes) until you reach the final stretch...then it's like someone flips a slow motion button!

Jamie said...

This is a beautiful post.

Chantal said...

Such a beautiful post. I love your writing style Erika!

Michelle said...

I love that quote at the top. I underlined it in my book when I reread The Great Gatsby.

You wrote this so well. I felt like I was reading some classic novel. I'm going to be first in line to your book signing someday.

I'm thinking of you and your baby! You're so close.

M said...

Both your words and photos paint a beautiful picture! Congrats on the almost-here-baby. :)


Fran said...

I simply love your writing, so beautiful. Can't wait to meet Sneezy <3

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