As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A lot can happen in a year

My baby turns one today.  ONE!  Birthdays naturally have a way of causing you to reflect a bit, but first birthdays in particular are pretty special.  It blows my mind to think that a year ago, we were doing this:

 Which somehow, in the blink of an eye, became this:

When babies approach one around here, I find myself in the constant expecting, anticipating, (and maybe even a bit nervous) dance between thinking I'm pregnant and thinking I'm not.  I gave up taking random pregnancy tests after my last miscarriage (my pregnancy just before Mary's) because I realized not only that I was wasting tons of money to appease my nerves, but also that psychologically it was not good to always "need to know".  I figured that if I was pregnant my body would let me know soon enough, at which point I would buy one (and only one) pregnancy test, money well-spent at that point since it was a response to my reality and not simply my own nerves.  

I don't think that Mary is our last baby, but of course I can't know that for sure.  Every morning I wake up either convinced I am pregnant, or convinced I'm not.  One day I"ll be certain that my body is showing signs of pregnancy, and the next I'll be certain it's not.  I've not had the one, tell-tale symptom for me - morning sickness. And so for now, I wait. A new baby would bring much joy for sure, but also much change for us.  A new vehicle, for starters.  And the loss of the comfort we've started to acquire now that little Mary is a bit older.  A more reliable schedule, greater ease getting around, my body back (mostly!)  

So much is unknown now, as I suppose it was this time a year (less a day) ago, when she was still in my belly.  We didn't know who she was, or even if she was boy or a girl.  Even her name was a surprise, because while Jeff and I usually agree on names together, hers was not one of the ones we had talked about before (and the only other baby Jeff named on his own was our oldest, because I knew I wanted to name our first girl after my Grandmother, so I told Jeff he could have the naming of the first boy).  We had not decided that he would name her on his own, but that's just how it went.  She was born and, as always, the doctor asked, "what is her name?"  And when Jeff announced this beautiful name that was so new to me, I knew she was a treasure.

Mary Clarice.

Mary of course after our Blessed Mother, and Clarice (prounced Claire-iss, which rhymes with Paris as my mother likes to say) after Jeff's dear Nanny who passed away not long before Mary's birth, and my own mother.  Growing up I had never met anyone else with the same name or pronounciation, and people were constantly mispronouncing it. It was such a surprise when I found out Jeff's Nanny had the same exact name and pronounciation as my mother.  It is so fitting for our girl to share the same name as these beautiful women, and already I can see she is very much like them.  She has a spark to her, a joy and wit like her Great-Nanny. She loves to tease, loves our Blessed Mother, and she LOVES sweets just like her Great-Nanny McCann.  And she is sweet, kind, and a friend to everyone, like my mother.  We didn't know anything about her one year ago, but the Lord did. And I believe He knew what He was doing when He placed that name on Jeff's heart.

And so we walk not only with joyful anticipation and trust in the unknown path ahead of us, but firm in the reality God has placed in our grasp right now, this beautiful girl who is our treasure and a joy to our hearts.  Whether or not there will be more is irrelevant.  The question of the day is not, "when is the next one coming along?" but rather, "how will you celebrate this one, and the rest of these little ones who are in your life right now?"  And of course today it begins with the joyful acknowledgment that one year ago today, this beautiful soul entered and forever changed our lives.  And we are forever blessed.

Happy Birthday sweet Mary Clarice. We love you so, so much!

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