In the final weeks of my first pregnancy, when I was irritable and scheming ways to hurry the process along, a wise friend told me “prepare don’t plan” regarding Jack’s birth. I think my response was something along the lines of “I’m prepared to remove this bowling ball baby myself if he doesn’t make his entrance soon!” I was joking…sort of :)
I’m a planner by nature. I get overly excited about anything organization-related, including the arrival of back-to-school items, freshly printed itineraries, and well-recorded meeting minutes; therefore, Jack’s nursery was perfectly planned. Everything matched and was organized with precision. I had systems in place for all baby-related needs – everything from the proximity of the glider to the crib, to the way the diapers were arranged in their basket, to the nursing station complete with burp cloths, bibs, and a Boppy pillow. I had planned it all! Or so I thought.
I didn’t plan for my son not to be able to sleep in the crib you see pictured or to enjoy being rocked in the glider because he needed to be bounced constantly in order to sleep, nor did I plan to go three years with very little sleep at all.
I didn’t plan for vomit soaked burp cloths, bibs, and Boppy covers because Jack was plagued by food allergies and acid reflux.
I didn’t plan for my first-born child to struggle with sounds and social cues and night terrors and fine motor skills and speech and balance and daily processes and potty training and muscle tone and sitting still and sensory issues.
I didn’t plan for Autism.
I also didn’t plan to give birth to a brilliant little boy whose laugh makes my heart dance.
I didn’t plan for a son whose love of books was born at 6-months-old and who now at age 3 takes great joy in conquering chapter books, escaping into their pages, and reciting his favorite stories by heart.
I didn’t plan to have a toddler who dedicates all his physical, mental, and emotional energy into triumphing over challenges laid in his path with grace, patience, and tenacity.
I didn’t plan to be privileged enough to watch him and his sister grow in love and friendship every day.
I didn’t plan to be blessed beyond measure.
Nearly four years later, this planner is so very thankful God made the decision to give her the tremendous joy of loving, guiding, and caring for our extraordinary children. Most importantly, I am thankful God prepared me for His plan in ways I never could have imagined.