Nearly every aspect of parenting has caught me completely off guard. Some good examples are when each of our children arrived.
When the girl child came to live with us it was sudden and there was the length of a car ride across town to "prepare" for parenting. And you thought you weren't prepared for your little bundle...
With the second child, we resolved to be ready. The nursery was painted a pastel gender-neutral color, diapers of all sizes were hoarded, the small closet jammed with toys. I was living the type-A dream.
Whoever you are, be born whenever you want. We're ready.
A year later, after not being chosen 6 times, we figured our second child was not meant to be. I'll fast forward through the next part. It's basically just grief, grief, grief. Tears, tears, tears. All mine by the way. My husband is chronically happy.
Final exam week right before nursing school graduation seemed like the best time to disassemble the vacant nursery and sell the heartbreakingly unnecessary accoutrements. I was weary of seeing them through the doorway of the perfectly still room at the end of the terribly quiet hallway.
A young couple from Craig's List arrived to buy the nursery furniture we had purchased. She looked about 4 minutes away from delivery so I practically gave that stranger a shower right there.
"What in this ENTIRE room do you still need? Just take it. Please."
They loaded up their car with our imaginary baby's things and left to have their real life child.
It felt sad.
The next day, I loaded up the remaining items to sell to a consignment store. It's interesting what pulls on the heart-strings. The hardest item to part with was the "Big Sister" shirt I had longed for the girl child to wear. I seriously LOVE my siblings. They mean the world to me. I had hoped she would have little people to boss around and mistreat as well.
The store bought some items and donated the rest to charity. I pocketed my (minescule amount of) cash and walked out the door toward my car.
The phone rang. Of course it did.
The adoption agency. Of course it was.
"Emily, we have a baby boy here and you guys have been chosen to be the parents."
Stunned, I managed to ask if it was acceptable to have him sleep in a laundry basket.
They must have been agreeable to the idea because off to the hospital we went.
Freshly and entirely unprepared.
So...the next day I went back in and bought the big sister shirt I had sold.
Yes. They actually made me buy it. It's ok. It was worth it.
Did you have ANY IDEA God was so funny? He's a riot. What a hilarious story He's given us. His timing is perfect and I'm realizing when curve balls fly at my head, the Pitcher knows what He's up to.
***This will be the first and last sports analogy I will use. I don't know a blessed thing about sports but I think curve balls and pitchers are both related to baseball so I threw it out there. Pun intended.***
ALL that to say, we've been unprepared before, and I was equally unprepared for the new stage we entered this morning.
I'm starting to realize this is just how parenting goes. You're basically always unprepared. If I think about that too long, this type-A girl breaks out in a rash.
This morning at church, the girl child approached me with a strange new googly-eyed look. Never seen it before. Didn't like it a bit.
She handed me a card.
Covered in hearts.
From a boy.
I wanted to throw my hands in the air and yell, "Serenity Now!" like Mr. Costanza.
I refrained though, because I was in public. And I was carrying the boy child. And don't forget about the heart card...
Exhibit A: The Beginning of the End
Giving the girl child the stink eye, I demanded, "Tell me about this boy."
"I love him, Mom. One hundred percent."
I appreciated the percentage. I was hesitant before, but if it's 100%, I have no choice. You have a green light.
"What exaaaactly does that statement mean to you?" I pushed.
"It means we want to have a play date..." she said confidently.
"Well, we can't because I don't know his parent's number." I retorted proudly.*
*New parents, please take note of your basic parenting slam dunk. This is how the professionals do it.
(Whaaaat? Another sports analogy? I don't know who I am anymore.)
I went on to explain that Dallas is fairly large and we, tragically, won't be able to swing or slide at the park with this card-making Romeo.
"Don't worry, Mom. I wrote down your cell phone number for him."
Serenity Now... Serenity Now... What's the opposite of a slam dunk, sports people? That's what happened here. The stinking opposite of a slam dunk.
Five really is a beautiful age where children can do all the remembering of important information but none of the reasoning about its proper usage. Excuse me while I change the entry code to the front door of our house...
Really, I think the whole situation is cute (or whatever I'm "supposed" to say). It's actually a mixture of equal parts Adorable/Terrifying/Hilarious/Let's-put-her-in-a-tower-like-Rapunzel.
And I secretly look forward to the five-year old suitor calling my cell phone.
About the date.