According to medical estimations, we're barreling down the home stretch towards our due date this Friday. I'm doing my best to relax and keep the stress / nest instincts to a minimum, minus the occasional junk drawer tantrum. Thankfully, I still have my career to keep me occupied as I work to wind down for a brief but strictly maternal break.
It's a strange place to be. I keep describing it as waiting for an earthquake. You don't know when the "big one" will happen, but there are a few tremors here and there that let you know it's coming, ready or not.
This waiting is a bit of a purgatory. I want to procrastinate the pain lurking around the corner. But I am eager to wrap my arms around my baby boy and nuzzle him like there is no tomorrow. I want to relish these last fleeting moments of me, myself and I that I've known all my life. Yet, I'm eager to for my world and thought process as I know it include this unknown other being.
Safe to say, I am anxious and excited to see what's on the "Mother" side.
Let's go back to the end of September 2013, my birthday weekend to be exact. There we were at one of THE places on my bucket list: Dollywood, U.S.A. That's right. Ever since Dolly Parton became the songbird of my life, I have obsessively wanted to visit her mountain home and breathe in the Great Smoky empire she built. So for my 36th birthday, my husband arranged a couple's trip with our dear friends Mitch and Justin to a Gatlinburg cabin, complete with a visit to my own magic kingdom. Sorry Minnie Mouse, but you have nothing on Dolly.
Up until Dollywood, I still wasn't myself. I had spent my summer in grief, as told here in the earlier post, and was now crossing the age line of apres-35. I never realized how much I needed this long weekend to let loose until we got there. And what better way to do it than with some of the best roller coasters I've ever ridden. We spent our day hooting, hollering, screaming and cheering on every thrill ride the park offered. I had my husband, two wonderful guy friends (who love Dolly and Aveda hair products as much as I do) and of course, the mountain mist of Saint Dolly Parton everywhere I turned. I finally felt back to life. And life was good. I had discovered the rainbow after the rain, as the bedazzling guru had once said.
I told my husband today that waiting for baby was much like our ride on those Dollywood thrill rides. We're as buckled up as it gets, slowly climbing the coaster conveyor belt, clutching to each, occasionally cussing under our breath, and wondering why in the world we got on this ride. But as soon as we crest the top, we're ready to throw our hands in the hair and let gravity take it from here . . . and ride out those thrills, spills and chills with our heart in our throats and the wind in our hair.
Almost ten months ago, in a log cabin on the mountain, after a day at Dollywood and discovering my soul again, the secret is out: that's where this baby was made.
Earlier that day, as we wound down our park visit and headed towards the gift shop, I found myself passing the one-room school house that had been moved to the park in an ode to a simpler time. As I peered inside its window, a scripture lesson caught my eye:
Jesus replied, "You do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand."
- John 13:7 NIV
The message was received, loud and clear. Here's to Jesus, Gravity and Dolly Parton.