Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A gift and an observation

This past Sunday we had a pool party at our house and invited about 10 people and their kids (about 4 altogether, ages 5 and under). The weather cooperated, I kept the menu simple so I could enjoy myself, and we all had a great time. There were two interesting things that happened.

First, a couple that we don't see that often - they live 2 hours away - came with their adorable little daughter. When we first started our infertility testing, we saw them at a wedding, and she confided in me that they had been trying for 4 years (on and off due to relocations and other circumstances), and were in the middle of their 2nd IUI. They got pregnant on their 4th IUI. When I started the infertility treatments, she was one of the people I spoke to for advice and information, so we feel fairly close to them, even though we don't see them often.

Well, they gave a us a gift when they came over, and I had thought it might be a housewarming gift, as this was the first time they were at our new house. We waited until the end of the night to open it, and it was actually a baby gift! Several adorable, gender neutral onesies. We were blown away! On the one hand, I was a little superstitious, like maybe that's counting your chickens before they hatch? I have still not bought a single baby-related thing (except maternity clothing and information books). But on the other hand, it made it feel all the more real. Someone giving us baby clothes! I looked at my husband, and he had a tear in his eye...

The other interesting thing is that I noticed something about myself. A bunch of us were in the pool, and the mommies had their kids in our floats, and in their arms, etc. And my child-less SIL (who's such a fabulous SIL, I'm very lucky!) was playing with all the kids, and just jumping right in to help the parents. She just seemed a natural with little kids. Unlike me.

I noticed that I don't tend to gravitate towards the kids. I talk to them, and they like me enough - all in all a very pleasant situation. But I'm not a "natural" - you know, one of those people all the kids love to play with, someone who feels totally at ease with little children. Someone who picks up the little babies and looks like they've been doing it for years. To be completely honest, I feel a little awkward around kids sometimes. Hmmmm. Made me wonder a little about myself. Will I be a good mother? Will it come naturally to me? I tend to think that yes, I will, that it will be different with my own child.

I feel pretty confident at this point, but seeing my SIL in action really made me think...


  1. Your first baby gift! What a wonderful and unexpected surprise. So nice of them to think to do that. And don't worry about how you are with OTHER people's kids. You're going to be a great Mom. Besides, that's why God gives them to us as we can learn the program as we go along! Things will come naturally to you in no time once the baby is born.

  2. Gifts do make it seem more real. Baby gifts are such a treat. I was also superstitious ... so it was really fun when my cousin, excited for us, jumped in an sent us a big basket of stuff -- much earlier than I would have ever dared myself to look at such items except from the corner of my eye, let alone ~buy~ them and bring them into the house.

    I know what you mean about people who appear so at ease with children. Some people have a visible gift for it ... I call it the "pied piper's knack." My son's tae kwon do teacher, for one has it. And it's a thing of beauty to behold when it's genuine. I myself and more reserved. And often in company with other's children, I feel too self conscious -- more because of the adults (the parents) than the kids -- to open up. But given the time and space to be comfortable and to be myself, I do alright. You will too. I think the secret, like with so many, many things, is to be yourself. Some are better with an outward appearance, but never underestimate yourself ... or children's ability to appreciate you. (It's more often adults you have to worry about on that last count).