Today I was up in Bountiful for a visit with my folks. Yesterday was their 53rd wedding anniversary and they had brought out some old photo albums and journals to peruse. I was flipping through an old journal of my mom's and looked at the date. It was from February of 1983.
I'm the youngest of 7 children. There are almost 6 years that separate me from my closest sibling. I have always wondered about the reaction my mom had when she found out she was expecting another baby when I'm sure she thought she was done. I read the following exert from her journal in February:
"I guess I haven't mentioned something very important. I haven't talked about it here because honestly I don't know how I feel about it. Heavenly Father has decided to bless our family with another baby. I really did feel like our family was complete with six, but I think the Lord has other plans for us. I can't really get my head around the fact that we're having another baby."
As I read on about how my mother was enduring intense nausea with the pregnancy, and how she was coping with the emotions of being pregnant while mothering a range of children from ages 6-22, I couldn't help but tear up a bit. My emotional reaction was in no way related to my mom's trepidation about having another child. I understand now what that really meant for her. She was older, and I think her and my dad were looking forward to a little calmer life. Having another baby meant starting over, it meant dealing with a newborn, a two-year old, potty training and kindergarten, all things I think she thought she had left behind.
The rest of the journal posts were upbeat and cheerful. I was 13 days over due and I think that was probably the hardest part of things for my mom, who is very organized and had a large family to take care of.
It made me think a lot about my little family. What lies in store for us? What will be the big events of our lives that will someday be looked at by our children and grandchildren as monumental? What photos will they love and laugh at? What hair styles will they mock and then eventually revamp? Taking care of Eli and Sammy is exhausting but it hit me today more than ever before that we are creating a legacy. We are making stories and creating moments that will be shared and talked about for years to come. I hope we can make a good start for our little group.
Looking back at my mother's reactions to finding out she was expecting another baby really made me feel a closeness to her I hadn't ever felt. She was just like me once; tirelessly working day in and day out to make sure her little group was well taken care of. She talked in her journal of late night and early morning feedings, of diapering issues, of colic and baby clothes and it just made me feel so close to her. Not just close to her now but close to her then. Legacy and history does that.