Annie can't find the bath tub; its blue, it should be easy enough to find among all the baby things that are re emerging from the basement and assorted plastic tubs, but it hasn't turned up yet....
When I've stopped lately to pick up Aaron or Lizzie, or just to visit, the signs of a new arrival have been unmistakable. Here, a new car seat in the corner; there, the pack 'n play. Matt spent at least a month re arranging and remodeling the entire kid's portion of the second floor. Aaron got the double guest bed; Lizzie traded her dresser/changing table for a garage sale find painted a neat clean white. The baby gets new shelves, a closet, courtesy of Daddy's carpentry: something new for the third child, the second boy, who is going to see a lot of hand me downs for quite a while. But everyone gets an upgrade...Aaron has a grown up camo bedspread; Lizzie a new girly violet paint job to cover the nursery fish theme.
Is that new baby in any sense of the world old hat? Not ever. Aaron was number one and I couldn't stop feeling a sense of amazement that I was standing there holding a grandson, of all things, that our daughter and her husband were now parents, just like us. We were on the same side of the ledger from here on out. From his first days, Aaron played with another little boy's Brio trains, and the blocks his grandma, mommy, auntie and uncle broke in many times over. But he learned his baby steps in a new house for his grandparents, even though this big old home will always be grandma and grandpa's to our grandkids. Aaron's books in the tv cabinet are now read by Lizzie, Gabe and Abbie, too. The plastic spoons and measuring cups that have always been his bath toys are now requested at bath time by his sister and cousins. The rocker that was mine as a small child and the caned chair that was mine at my grandma's has been joined in the living room by my granny's rocking chair. All three are the perfect size for three year olds to move around and rock over each other's toes.
Aaron was the first to sit at the kitchen island in my mother's old high chair; when the other three came along, I invested in booster chairs so we could record Father's Day pies, roasting ears, pizzas, icing Christmas cookies three at a time. What an unforetold blessing! How I never tire of the antics of these three cousins at every age to the present and constantly breathe my prayers of thanks for the chance to see them grow up together right here under our noses.
I remember the day our third was born vividly. It was a typical August day, it was my forecast due date, and labor commenced as I was washing the breakfast dishes. We'd added onto the house, but the baby's room was still our bedroom and the two bedroom addition was only roughly finished. The guys were building the grain bin. We didn't know who Ben was until the moment he was born; Blake was there, the first of his children he watched delivered.
The night before Lizzie was born, Matt helped Blake install a new fridge. That morning, I sent Kenzie a text telling her Lizzie was a beautiful girl. Then it rained, and rained and rained and Lee and Ryan came to our house to spend the night, just for caution's sake. And that early, dark morning, Lee called to me that they were headed for the hospital. We went to work at our muddy greenhouse and waited for that welcome call that Gabe and Abbie were here, blessedly big and healthy for being two. We wended our way through the country to find roads clear of water. Every one has a story.
And now, we're waiting for baby Josh, due to join us on his great Grandpa Charlie's birthday. The kids are asleep upstairs...Papa Blake is asleep on the couch. Its late, but I figure I won't sleep that well tonight any way. Godspeed, Mommy and Daddy on your trip tomorrow morning and God's blessing on you, new baby boy.