"You know, my sister's husband's cousin's best friend said if you wiggle in front of the mirror every night for the last trimester then your baby will be a good sleeper."
"You know, you just need to let that baby scream and not pick it up. That'll make it more independent and everyone happier. Especially that screaming baby."
"You know, your children will hate each other because me and my brother were 2 years apart and we hated each other."
When the "you knows" would come I always tried to give people the benefit of the doubt assuming that they had good intentions. If their advice contained a nugget of helpfulness I'd keep it. The rest I just smiled, nodded, and promptly changed the subject.
However, there was one comment when I was pregnant with Goose that was not only unhelpful, but in fact, downright left me near tears and would be something I thought on for years to come.
To set the scene for you, imagine you are at your local Wal-Mart.
Hey, let's face it any story worth telling takes place at the Wal-Mart.
Anyways, you are at your local Wal-Mart getting your weekly groceries. You have your two-year-old little boy and are 74 weeks pregnant with a daughter.
Now, I can only speak to those located in East Tennessee, however, there is this magical time that happens during any Wal-Marting experience around here. This is known as check-out time. Now I have never been able to figure out the rational to all this, however, there are approximately 4,389,521 registers at our Wal-Marts, however, of those 4,389,521 registers they can only have max 3 opened at once. And of those 3 that are open, I have an uncanny ability to get behind every extreme couponer doing their yearly shop. This magical check out time is painfully slow. Painfully slow.
So Bub, me, and my gigantic belly find us in the check-out line. As most people do when they see one of beautiful children I drag around with me, the woman behind me strikes up a conversation. This particular conversation goes a little something like this:
Lady: (laughing) "You sure are going to have hands full, aren't you?"
Me: Smile. Nod. "This line sure is moving slow. I like your ___________ (fill in the blank with hair, shirt, shoes, box of tampons... anything to change the subject)."
Lady: "Thank you. So, is this one going to be a boy or girl?" whle pointing to my belly.
Me: Smile bigger. Nod head even more thinking maybe she will just think I'm crazy. "Girl. Where did you get________ (see above list of subject changers)?"
Lady: "Oh thank goodness! I always tell mothers who have little boys they need to have them a girl because you know the saying don't you? 'Daughter for life, son until wife!' I know that was the case with my children."
I don't remember how I responded, but I do remember thinking afterwards that she had to be wrong. That she probably was just a crazy woman and obviously her children hated because she said dumb, inappropriate things to strangers at the Wal-Mart. Crazy Wal-Mart Lady did not know my sweet Bub. He was mine and there was never going to be some huzzy come take him from me. The nerve of her to even suggest it.
That's right baby. Just look away from the Crazy. Cover those precious ears, too. Don't need to hear that mess.
I stewed on this for sometime. In the years that followed, it would occasionally creep back into my mind. Overtime the picture of "the huzzy that would take him from me" soften considerably to the point now that I regularly and strongly find myself praying for whoever this woman who he will entrust his heart may be. I feel certain this "someone" (and Goose's and Baby Moe's "someones") will be worthy of him. In fact, prayer nowadays has turned more into helping Bub be the kind of man who is worthy of her and their family. I know now that she won't take him from me, however, when the time comes I will be the one who gives him to her.
As I have slowly gotten to this point, I have come to a realization. Back when the Rooster and I first started dating we quickly fell in love. In fact, I knew almost immediately that he was my "someone". And year after year I find myself deeper in love with him.
However, recently I have began thinking about how he came to be the who he is? And the answer, without any doubt, is his own mother.
His ability to make everyone laugh.
How he can make anyone, even in tough situations, feel at ease.
His knowing the right words at the right time.
The energy that draws people to him.
The compassion he shows our babies when anger is the easy emotion to have.
His dedication to me.
None of that happened by chance. He didn't just wake up at 27 years old ready to meet the woman he was going to spend his life with without a lot of unseen, unsung, and sometimes unpleasant work.
No, day after day after day after day his mother poured into him that sense of humor, and that compassion, and that dedication to family. Day after day after day she prepared him for me. For us. All the goodness he shows us is because of the goodness she did for him.
I don't know if there was a day when he was her little boy and she had a moment like mine where her thoughts were, "There will never be a woman worthy of my baby." Where she pulled him close and tried to banish the thoughts. I also don't know if she ever got the point of where she was able to pray for what his life would look like when he had a family of his own. But, I do know this: everything I treasure most is a result of the love she poured into him. I owe her everything because she gave me him.