I saw my lovely sister in law yesterday, who is due her first baby on Friday. She is one of those who has been glowing all the way through pregnancy – yes, one of those! With a lovely bump (not too small, not too big – just right, which we all know is the only type of bump), she has taken pregnancy in her stride.
My brother and her are obviously very excited about their new arrival and I am very impatient to meet this new little munchkin. I have three beautiful nieces and three gorgeous nephews already, but the excitement of having a new family member is just the same each time – maybe a bit more this time as I know I will never have another baby, so can enjoy this one even more!
They are in the beautiful bliss of first time parents, with no clue what to expect and no knowledge of what life is really going to be like when this beautiful baby arrives. They have heard plenty of stories from me of course, (too many I’m sure) and have been hands on auntie and uncle to my boys, but nothing can prepare you for being a parent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They have all the gear, have worked out how to use it and have prepared themselves as much as they can – now they are playing the waiting game.
Seeing them yesterday just reminded me what being a parent is really about – love. How wonderfully overwhelming it is to know how loved this baby is before it has even arrived in the world. How many people love it without even meeting him or her, how many lovely clothes and toys he/she has waiting for them, a wonderful home and room patiently awaiting to welcome them, and how fiercely protective we will be when they arrive. I know it isn’t like this for every child in this world – I am very blessed that I have a wonderful family and that I and my brother have both married into equally wonderful families. How blessed we are that we have multiple grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends fighting to look after our children and I know many of you reading this will be in the same position. I know not every child has a big house, a wardrobe full of clothes, too many toys to play with all at once, fresh water and food on the table and I know these actually aren’t the important things – having parents who love you is something I take for granted, but is really the only important thing.
Being a parent is the hardest job in the world and many of us will face challenges we never imagined or wanted. But we also get to experience the most amazing of things – unconditional love. Whether we are here on earth for just one day or for 90 years, we are loved unconditionally and what could be more wonderful than that?
To all of you who are or have been parents – here is a virtual high five to being so lucky to experience the most wonderful thing this world has to offer.
To all expectant parents and parents of the future – there are so many blessings coming your way! Embrace them with both hands.
Let’s never forget the most important thing – love.