Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Making Room for Micah

Closets of stuff! Roomfuls of stuff! Corners and crannies and nooks of stuff! Everything has to be removed and reorganized to make room for Micah. She is coming in August whether I am ready or not. So, I would rather be ready; and of course, I think it makes for a better environment if the baby's room is ready and welcoming. Thus, we have all embarked upon the Spring Break Mission called "Making Room for Micah".

This mission has impacted everyone. Dan and Sarah are losing their treatment room. Until yesterday, the girls had a room dedicated entirely to taking their treatments. It had a futon, the vest machine, nebulizers and all the meds (with the exception of the meds that have to be refrigerated- Those are kept downstairs in a special refrigerator just for medicine.) The room also housed a television and VCR, board games, art supplies, a lap top, and a variety of other interesting little goodies designed to keep kids and teens busy during those boring, daily drudgeries called treatments. They have both been very gracious about giving up their room. Now that we have two vest machines, they are able to take their treatments in their bedrooms. Still, this transition has meant moving out of an entire room and adapting to a whole different way of doing things.

I have been feeling nostalgic about the treatment room... After all, it hasn't always been a treatment room. The vest and treatments used to be kept downstairs in the living room. This signified a time when the girls were too young to be trusted to get their treatments independently. (Sometimes I wonder if we are still in that phase... But, mostly, I know they are taking care of themselves so that I don't have to worry myself sick when they go off to college.) When Sarah was small, it was her room. She didn't want the room with the attic door because it "creeped her out". Later, when Sarah was able to handle the idea of the attic door in her room, she moved out and it became a playroom, full of toys and games. I have memories of little girls dressing up in feather boas and gowns... I would go in to clean and find weird concoctions mixed by Sarah. She loved to make potions. Sometimes there would be something really fascinating like a purse filled with rocks and pine straw. Dan would fill page after page with pictures of cats. The room was a place where a child's imagination would flourish, along with their abilities to make colossal messes.

The room evolved again when Mom and J.R. moved in while their house was being built. They lived in the room and redesigned the closet during their stay. After they moved out, the room became a storage/treatment room again until Hurricane Katrina blew in destroying everything and necessitating their return to the room. After rebuilding their home, my parents moved out again and the room was once more relegated to service as a treatment room.

Now, it will be a baby's room. In my mind's eye, it had always been a nursery, until the last evolution. Dave and I had pretty much given up entirely on the idea that we would have a child together. So, this cleaning and organizing has been a reminder of a spiritual lesson. I am always trying to figure God out. I had settled into a certain comfort with the idea that I would have two girls, and that was that... I had even decided that I was really getting too old to manage a new baby, anyway. Dave had come to a level of sad acceptance that he would be a wonderful co-father to the girls, but that he wouldn't have a child of his own. We had really accepted and embraced the idea, and then in November discovered the happy news that I was pregnant. Still, we waited a while before getting our hopes up, since I have had multiple miscarriages. After the 8 week mark and with the onset of morning sickness, it became a little more real.

Currently, my belly is expanding by the day, and ultrasounds (along with her own inner gymnastics) have confirmed that I am indeed having a baby girl. And, we are all scrambling to welcome her. My church family held a wonderful shower for me and Arianna, a dear friend who will be having her baby in May. (See the picture above.) Mom has become a consummate Internet baby furniture shopper. We are all preparing in whatever ways we can, which for now means purging the old to invite the new.

That brings me back to the spiritual lesson... So often I fill my life with stuff that takes up room, but no longer serves me. In the closet, I found space heaters that had been used after the storm, old art supplies, and tons of frames, pictures and memorabilia set aside for that picture project that has been looming for years. Clearing out the past to make way for the future is an important spiritual lesson for me. If I fill my head with old, outdated ideas, I don't have room for new, inventive thoughts. If my mind and heart are preoccupied with thoughts and feelings that no longer serve me, I am stuck in a mess and unable to move forward. It reminds me of the unofficial definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Sometimes doing a new thing means clearing away items from the past. Sometimes it means standing still and doing nothing, when every fiber of my being is telling me to "say something" or "do something". Sometimes the new idea means recognizing that some things aren't mine to do. And, much to my chagrin, other times it means doing the things (like balancing my checkbook) that I really don't want to do. But, ultimately, the action or inaction clears the way for a new and wonderful experience in my life.

This time, the new and wonderful will be in the form of a new little addition to our family. However, before that can happen, I suppose I should get back to cleaning out the closets.