Today I watched the clock and said to myself (and sometimes to Steve), this time three years ago . . . I was having contractions in the corner market. I was still 10 hours away from having a baby. I was on my way to the hospital. I was a brand new mother.
I can't ever think of The Bairn's birth without thinking of all the kindness we received, far away from family, in a moldy, mouse-infested tenement, and so bewildered by parenthood that I couldn't even figure out how to take care of a newborn and fix myself lunch simultaneously without help. Just getting to and from the hospital (three trips) took six different kind people. I had planned to use taxis but was told again and again by our friends (and sometimes mere acquaintances) that I was to call them day or night for rides. Maureen, who drove us to the hospital when we actually stayed and delivered The Bairn, chatted merrily to me, occasionally glancing at me in the rear view mirror and assuring me in her Scottish brogue, "I'm just trying to take your mind off it. You'll be fine!" and Charlie, who drove us to the hospital 3 days later when I had a panic attack and who is the father of 10 children himself, asked me if Steve was taking proper care of me and told me stories about his first child. Tina and Angela found me at the hospital that night after Julie, who had brought us dinner, didn't find us at home. Angela took me to her house the next day where Aileen sat next to me for hours and taught me how to breastfeed. And Tina kept me at her house for weeks after that, planting me on a couch with a plate of chocolates and whisking The Bairn away for some snuggling in a different room so I could sleep.
I don't know if The Bairn will ever meet any of these people who now live across an ocean from him, but they are the angels present for his birth. He will surely hear stories about them, as they've rooted themselves in our family history through their service to us.
This is my friend Emily's blog. We were roommates at BYU and at Sunday dinners she used to lead the discussion among roommates on topics such as which superpowers we would most enjoy. She and her two children are in the middle of a year-long trip abroad and I love reading about her travels and her insights into her experiences, but this post, about kindness, is my favorite. It's what I want to say about our friends in Scotland.
Happy Birthday to my three-year-old boy! I'm so grateful for him and for all the new helpers in his life, because I can make lunch while I care for him now, but I'm still a bewildered parent working out how to raise this clever kid.
|Chatting with Aunt Jean over Birthday Cupcakes|