Today you will enter the world! Your mom called just a little bit ago to say you were on your way. Right now you are being squeezed, yanked, sloshed and pushed around. Right now you are demanding all the attention in the room. And you will get it, sweet child.
We’ve been praying and hoping for you for a long time. Your mom and dad have wanted you for what seems like forever, but you took your time showing up. You stubborn thing. When you finally announced your arrival with a pink plus sign on a pee stick, the immediate world around you could not have been happier.
Your sister is just dying to meet you. She talks about you non-stop. There isn’t a person she encounters that doesn’t know you’ve been on the way for the last handful of months. She’s so eager to be a big sister and to help out and she will be magnificent. And you will adore her. I know, because I have a big sister and I know how great they can be. I look at your sister and I think how very, very blessed you are. She will be your protector, your provider, your confidant and your jester. She’s a funny kid and it’s going to be wonderful for you to have her to learn from.
Your mom and dad are incredible people. You’ll know it right away, I’m sure and you’ll feel how much they love you but there are a few things you won’t realize until much later about your parents. You probably don’t know, for example, that your dad is a FABULOUS cook. He’s a chef, actually, and he makes the best pork roll in the world. Not that pork roll is hard to make but man is it yummy when he makes it. And it isn’t just that he can cook, it’s that he shows himself through his cooking. He shows you how much he cares. Once, a while ago, when I was staying at your mom and dad’s house, your dad made me breakfast. It was at a time when I didn’t eat much – couldn’t eat much – but that was the best darn breakfast I’ve ever had. It tasted good. It looked wonderful and when your dad asked me if I wanted more I could see in his face how much he cared. He might as well have spelled out in scrambled eggs, “I wish I could do more but I can do this.”
And your mom is terrific. She’s calm under pressure and a great friend. She’s compassionate and caring and she is so thrilled you’re around. One of the things I’ve always respected and loved about your mom is her unbelievable ability to share. She’s shared so much with me…including her daughter, your sister. She’s allowed me to take a role in her daughter’s life that rightfully, I shouldn’t have. She’s allowed me the joys of motherhood. She’s allowed me to co-parent and that ranks right up there with the most unselfish thing anyone has ever done for me.
Which brings me to you. A few month ago your sister, her dad and I were all sitting at dinner talking about you. We were each saying what we were most excited about. I said, “I’m just so excited that we’re having a baby!” and that’s when your very smart sister said, “Um, Jenne, I have a question. I’m connected to Daddy, Daddy’s connected to you. I’m connected to Mommy. Mommy’s connected to Tommy. Mommy and Tommy are connected to the baby. But how are you and Daddy connected to the baby???”
Hmmm. Good question.
It’s true. You don’t really belong to us in any way shape or form. You are the daughter of my husband’s ex-wife and her current husband. You, technically, are The Kid’s half-sister. You, technically, have no ties to us at all. But since when do we, in this family, do anything by the book?
Since we first knew you were to arrive on the scene, we’ve been waiting eagerly for you. We’ve teased and joked with your mom about how much fun it will be to have custody of you for the summers and holidays just like your sister and your mom has teased back, “Don’t joke!,” she says, “I’ll do it!” Before we knew you were a she, we guessed and pondered and planned. And when your mom called us early on to tell us some scary news, when we thought you weren’t going to arrive at all after all, it hit us like a mac truck. I was in the Michigan airport when I got the news and I had to stop and sit for a while. Did you know the Michigan airport has a chapel? I didn't either but I was grateful for it that day. That day when I held my head in my hands and cried.
But you surprised us! And although you’ll enter this world with some unique challenges, I know you’ll be okay. I’m not worried about you at all. Not with everything you have going for you. There are babies who enter this world without one ounce of love or compassion. There are babies who enter into the love of a few - a mom and a dad, if they are lucky. Maybe even a grandparent or two. Then there is you.
Oh Maddy, show yourself. There are so many waiting.