Today is my birthday!
It’s 4pm as I’m writing this, and so far I’ve given two time-outs and one spanking, done three loads of laundry, filled the sink with dirty dishes (still waiting), drank two mega-sized coffees to make up for my five hour night, and wiped three poopy bottoms. Our big plans for later will probably include more of the same and maybe an hour or two in the baby pool. The big highlight will be that glorious moment when Adam walks in the door after work.
I’m not going to tell you I enjoy every moment of my life as a mom (oh my gosh the poop), but there is no doubt in my mind that the work, the yuckiness, and the exhaustion is all more than worth it. Sometimes I’m still surprised when I turn around and see four little ones playing and laughing and making a mess of our house. I wonder, are these kids really all ours? It’s an awesome and slightly scary reality, especially when I think about eight little eyes looking at Adam and me, watching to see how we handle the challenges in our family.
Yesterday Ad and I took baby Isaac to see a geneticist up in Gainesville. He carefully examined our son, asked us lots of questions, and finally echoed the conclusion we got last week from the orthopedic specialist: Isaac’s hand is just different. There is no name for it, no known cause, and no apparent genetic link.
It was reassuring to hear yet another doctor tell us Isaac doesn’t have a syndrome of some sort and seems healthy in every way. But I still have so many questions.
“It’s hard not to know why,” I said to Adam on the way home. “I want to know what God thinks about Isaac’s hand… Did he purposely design it to be different? Does he think it’s beautiful? Or is it a hard thing he just allowed, part of living in a fallen world? Will Isaac have two normal hands in heaven?” Ad’s eyes were steady on the road ahead. “Aren’t you bothered at all by the not-knowing?” I asked. “I’m just glad to be done seeing doctors about it,” Ad said. “Isaac’s hand is a little different and he’s going to be fine. I think he’ll be able to do everything our other kids do.”
After we tucked the kids in bed later, we ordered Thai food and talked about it some more. We talked about the mysterious side of pregnancy. The womb is a hidden place. When God weaves a baby together, he does it in secret. We can try to take a look through ultrasound, but even the best technology can only give us a peek. It can’t show us the precise moment when a heart first starts beating or tell us a baby’s first thought. The Bible says the secret things belong to the Lord. And it seems like the full story of Isaac’s hand is one of those things I have to wait for. “You know, I think I just need to get comfortable with all my unanswered questions,” I said finally.
God is not sharing his secrets with me right now. But I do believe he’s speaking, telling me to focus on everything we do know, and all the things we have. The experts say Isaac’s difference is not genetic. It’s his left hand, not his right. And on his left hand, his palm, thumb and pinky are all normal size. His index finger is just slightly shorter. His two middle fingers are much smaller and always will be, but the doctors believe his hand will grow and be fully functional.
And I wonder if this is what it looks like to take every thought captive? If it might be as simple as counting my blessings…
Today’s been messy and noisy the way every day is at my house. I’m wearing flip-flops, a t-shirt, and plenty of baby drool. But I’m also wearing the necklace Ad gave me for my birthday, and every time I bend over to pick something up it swings forward a bit and I remember it’s there. I’m looking at a homemade card the kids made for me, and listening to them fight and laugh in the next room. It’s been a good birthday.