Sunday, July 8, 2012


I'd been told it's common for first babies to come a week or more after their due dates, so I was prepared for a long wait, even though my body had reached and exceeded its maximum capacity.  At the July 4 cookout five years ago, I was 37 weeks pregnant, and fully expected to still be pregnant a month later.  My due date was July 24.  But my mother-in-law predicted "a baby by next weekend."  (It was Wednesday.)  I snorted at that.  I refused to even hope for that, even though my ankles and feet were blown up like balloons.   My belly strained against the fabric of my baggy windbreaker (yes, windbreaker.  It was New England after all.).
It turned out Grandma was right.  On the morning of the following Sunday, July 8, my water broke.  Delaney had decided she wasn't going to waste another day in my belly.  It was time to come out and join the world!  She was born early that afternoon, a little meatball with wild dark hair and a button nose.  We took her home on one of the hottest days of the year (like I said, New England).  I remember what a shock it was when, after 48 hours in a climate-controlled hospital, I was rolled out the door with a carseat on my lap, a tiny bundle inside. Our daughter, Delaney Grace..  Like all new parents, we were awed and mystified.  Who was she?  
I rode home in the backseat with her.  After watching countless episodes of 'Bringing Home Baby', it seemed like the thing to do.
We had no idea what a delight she would turn out to be.  If I had to name a chief personality trait, it would be her openness to everything in life, and her eagerness to try new things, meet new people, and learn new things.  In fact, she's insatiable.  Every day she asks, "What are we doing in the afternoon?"  or "What are we doing in the morning?"  While we sit here taking a break, there is life to be lived!  Fun to be had!  Carpe diem!  She tells us she never sleeps, and I think she actually believes that.  She lies in her bed every night thinking, 'Ugh, this is so boring.'  Next thing she knows it's morning.  That's not to say she's bouncing off walls.  She's just always looking for something interesting to do, and the company of someone she likes.
During the dead hours of midday, when most of us are napping, there's usually one creature stirring, and her name is Delaney.  She might be zoning out watching Nick, Jr, or playing with toys, or looking at books.  Once I'm back up and about, I figure it's a good time for a read-aloud from a chapter book, to try to make up for the boredom of naptime.  I look at her and wonder if she's really listening, since she's just playing with her toys and I can see no clue in her expression.  I think, 'Maybe it's a little too soon to be reading Little House on the Prairie.  Is she getting anything out of this?'  But at the end of the chapter about the construction of the "little house," a chapter that I worried was a little too detailed and tedious for her to follow, she says, "The house still needs a roof."  She's missed nothing!

She is an amazingly mild-mannered kid, and always has been. I don't think she's ever thrown a tantrum. Anyone who doesn't get along with Delaney is trying hard not to. (Ahem -- Annie.)  She is very even-tempered, and as someone who has a tendency to be moody, I appreciate that steadiness and predictability in a person.  She must get that from her dad.  We don't need to wonder from minute to minute which Delaney we are dealing with.  She can always be relied on to be her kind and sweet self. 

I know I should be getting teary-eyed and sentimental, saying, "Where did the time go?  I just had her yesterday."  Yes, there's some of that going through my mind, but mostly I'm just excited for her.  Turning 5 opens up a world of experiences that she can now have because she's no longer held back by just being a little kid, a preschooler, a toddler.  She'll start kindergarten this fall.  She'll ride a bus, and she'll get to try a sport or other activity.  She'll attend Faith Formation at church every week.  She'll meet new friends.  She'll be tired at the end of the day, and the only time I'll hear her ask, "What are we doing..?" will be during vacations.
I know she's ready.  I am looking forward to telling you all about Delaney's new adventures!

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