Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A "tender mercy" named Julie

Last night we went to the swimming pool with our good friends the Willises to cool off from the incredibly hot day. It was at the pool that I meant someone whom I feel certain the Lord intended for me to meet. I don't say that very often, but I feel sure that my conversation with this girl changed my life, and I will be forever grateful to her.

But first, a little background to the conversation. The closer Leighton's impending birth gets, the more excited I am to meet him and get to know him. But also, the closer it gets, the more terrified I feel. To put it lightly, I am scared spitless to have 2 children. I quite often feel like an inadequate mother of one--so what in the world am I thinking trying to double that feeling, as well as my workload? My mental stress has been high enough that Andrew commented on Sunday that I have been grumpy for the last several days, maybe even weeks. And he's right. This immense fear is working itself into the way I treat my already lovely family. I feel ashamed to admit this to the world, but there have been several times when I absolutely did not want to have another baby yet. Terrible, I know, but true. But thanks to an unplanned pregnancy, I have found myself barreling straight for my biggest fear with absolutely no control.

Enter Julie.

Last night I sat drying off on a pool chair and feeding Eva her beloved Craisins while Andrew swam happily in the pool. I see out of the corner of my eye a girl approaching me, and my anti-social self thinks, "Oh great. I have to be social." (I know, I'm a monster!) She walks up and says, "You must be Mormon, because I swear I've seen you before. You have to be in our ward." This may seem gutsy, but in truth it was family night at the pool and at least 75% of the people there were from the ward, so it's a safer bet than you might think. We introduced ourselves with the usual preliminaries and talked about a few things--Altus, where we're going after this, how old Eva is (15 months exactly, when this conversation took place).

And then, the inevitable topic of my being so pregnant with such a young child. (Another thing I'm sick of is THOSE comments--but that's for another post.) Julie asked, "Was that planned?" It didn't bother me that she asked--she was very friendly and I felt immediately comfortable talking to her. I told her it wasn't and prepared myself for the usual, "Wow! Well good luck with that! You're sure going to be busy!" or something equally discouraging. But she didn't. She said, "Mine are pretty close together too. Not quite that close, but my first 2 are 18 months apart. And I'll tell you--it will be hard for the first 3 months. But once the baby gets to 3 months, it's awesome. They can interact and entertain each other, and it's really fun. And they'll be great friends." She went on for a while unknowingly saying exactly what I needed to hear and comforting me more than she could ever know. She has 5 kids, and she said every child gets easier. She said, "There is no busier mother than a mother of one."

I wish I could have tape recorded our conversation to have it to play back to myself. But what I will never forget is how I walked away from it feeling like I can DO this. I can have 2 kids and be a good, happy mom. And I don't know why it had to be her. I'm sure others have said similar things to me and I just didn't listen. For some reason I was in the right mindset to hear her at that particular time.

Julie will probably never know what she did for me, but I know that she walked over to me because the Lord knew I needed her to. She saved my life. I feel so ready for this now, it's unreal. Leighton, bring it on.


Lindser Binzer said...

I think it's so true that the Lord often answers our prayers, even our unspoken prayers, through other people. I'm glad Julie was able to help you out, and if it helps at all, I think you're an awesome mom, and I look up to you so much with all that you do! Leighton and Eva are so lucky...and congats on being dilated all by yourself :) that is a big step haha

Kara Camille said...

I love this post. I love you! And I think that you're going to be an excellent mother of two. I only wish you lived closer so you could teach me how to be the mother of one!

btw are you guys coming to wichita falls this weekend--that's the rumor on the street...?? If so (which I TOTALLY hope), you guys should definitely stay with us. We were going to call yesterday but we are WAY over our minutes. Oh, I sure hope so!! Let us know.

Annie said...

This is wonderful. Those moments are the best parts of life because they get you back on track. I can count on my hands the times those conversations occurred, but I can't even begin to express how meaningful they were at the time, STILL are today.

And, I don't know if you'll listen to this comment or not :), but you WILL be a great mother of two and already are a fantastic mother of one.

Thayne and Kiama said...

You know, if nothing else, your friend Julie made me feel a little better. I am 14 weeks pregnant today, and Jarom just turned 1. I don't really show yet (except for the fact that I look like I have gained ten pounds) so most people don't even know that I am pregnant, but it seems like everyone I have told is shocked and can't believe that we would have our first two kids so close together. (they will be 18 months appart) I have the hardest time admitting that this pregnancy happened before it was planned because I never want my baby to think that it was an unwanted accident, but sometimes the truth it apparent. I am getting a little bit more excited, but it is hard at the same time. I worry that I won't be as good at the whole mommy thing when there is more than one to worry about, and I don't feel like I am enjoying this pregnancy as much (probably because I am so busy chasing after a 1 year old) and so I worry that I won't enjoy my baby as much when it finally does arrive. I am sure you are a great mom, and you have nothing to worry about. I hope I can live up to the examples of the wonderful friends around me.