“It’s a girl.”
I was laying there while the technician rolled over my belly with the ultrasound probe, my hands on my forehead, my mouth hanging open. She typed it onto the screen while she highlighted exactly how she knew. I waited for the tears to come, because hadn’t I told a myriad of people I would surely cry if I found out it was a girl? But they only filled my eyes a little bit. All I could do was laugh.
I’m a mom of boys. I’ve always been a mom of boys. I don’t know anything but the incredibly weird, gross, and hilarious life of mothering little men.
When I first realized that this was really my life (believe me, it was obvious, but the weight of it didn’t hit me until my second son was well into his little life), I took it really seriously. I prayed over my boys often. I wrote them letters. I fought in my own soul the battle of being a woman who was courageous enough to raise men of greater caliber than ever seen before.
So a few days ago, walking into an ultrasound with three boys in tow, I expected nothing but more of the wonderful same. I expected an addition to my parade of little men, following in my wake, learning from my own messy mistakes and triumphs.
But, there’s a baby girl growing in there. A sweet, triumphant, dignified little girl.
Before I knew it, I was changed. The second I knew of her, saw her profile on that ultrasound screen, the dynamic shift of mothering happened. The Gospel has never been more real to me than it has in parenthood. It truly takes all of me–even, no especially, the worst in me–to disciple these people.
A few weeks ago, an older woman came up to our family while we were eating breakfast on vacation. She told us, “Your family is beautiful, and your boys are so well-behaved.” I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the kindness of strangers. But you know what I’m beginning to appreciate more and more? The boldness of women like her, willing to tell another woman she is doing well.
It happens to me all the time. I’m walking through a store, and I see a mom just like me, and I just want to hug her and tell her just how good she is doing. It doesn’t matter if she knows God at the moment; all that matters is that I know her. I know what it’s like to be her. To have little people running beside, behind, and all around us.
There have been hundreds of times when the question, “How do you do it?” is asked of me. And I don’t know, but the most honest answer I can find is, “I just do. I believe what God says about me. I believe that I’m never alone in it, even when I feel like the worst mom in the universe. I just do, because these sweet ones were entrusted to me for such a time as this.”
By the way? This little girl, although bringing me more joy and laughter every day, brings me that feeling reminiscent of being a mom for the first time. Believe me, I’m buying every bow I can get my hands on. But I’m just like you, just as unsure of how exactly I will, but trusting that I can.
Before I know it, she’ll be here. She’ll be shaking my world, moving mountains in my own soul (after rearranging my organs). And I’ll be walking on this path of new motherhood that I wasn’t expecting.
This path is hard. Holy. A pruning. It’s the Gospel, alive and active in my own world, right before my eyes, growing like vines all over the place.