Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Third Child

The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to 
sit. ~Nelson Henderson

"The third child."
That phrase is used in our society as a euphemism for parental oversight, implying by the time you are on #3, that one practically is raising himself, with a little help from the older siblings.  Well, in our case it's sort of true. But as my husband and I have relaxed a bit with each of our children, we have noticed that, in turn, they have relaxed as well. 

And Mack is certainly the most relaxed of all. He is a little frat boy trapped in an 18 month-old's body...complete with the big gut, up-for-anything attitude and floppy curls.  So stinkin' cute, you can even forgive him for this little biting phase he's in right now.

My pregnancy with him changed our lives. After our previous "normal/boring" pregnancies with the other two (which is exactly what you pray for), we received devastating news at 20 weeks along with Mack about a rare birth defect in our unborn son's lung. At that point even his survival was uncertain. Weekly visits to the perinatologist and pediatric cardiologist for sonograms filled me with dread. His outcome, his survival, was in question each week. But as agonizing as it was, I am forever grateful for the experience of carrying this child and what it taught me.

I went to the canvas to process my feelings of anxiety, fear and maternal longing. I created profusely because I didn't know any other way to process what was happening to my baby. Today, by God's grace he is 100% healthy and full of life, our very own little Miracle Mack. 

But if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have returned to my art.  Those paintings I created with him became the jumping off point for me to start showing and selling my work again. In utero, he inspired me to return home to the canvas, and create, and he continues to inspire me each day. He teaches me to be present, to appreciate every moment. Because even though we are at the mercy of powers greater than us, God has a plan. Life is precious and beautiful.

I Hold So Much in My Heart for You

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