At the very end of October, we moved back to our old downstairs at Mimee and Poppy’s house, because last time we had a baby, it worked really well to do it there. Of course, it was really exciting to be getting closer and closer to baby time, but at first, Halloween was more urgent:
Edie wore her Fairy costume that she picked out with Mimee, and Iris was a raccoon. Once the trick-or-treating was over, we spent a few days hopped up on skittles and jolly ranchers, as tradition dictates, and got to work setting up the room like our own family birthing suite. The girls were enthusiastic supporters of the birth pool inflation operation:
It took a while to get everything just right, and once it was all set up, the tea lights everywhere were awfully tempting to play with. Edie doesn’t have very clear memories of the long ago days when we lived in this room, but it was still kind of like coming home for all of us. Being in the big family is always special, and especially for a life transition like welcoming a new baby, it is such a blessing to have a family home to return to. Mimee and Poppy’s support was so important during this time. Besides helping out lots with both the kids after baby arrives, they helped keep us distracted during the Long Wait.
We went for beach walks, all together. At Illahee, we took off our shoes in the cold sand. The girls climbed over logs and branches, set sticks tall like trees on the beach. The sand was fluffed up somehow, and when we ran through the surf, our footprints bubbled with each wave as though there were deep sea vents below us.
Mimee and the girls took turns leaping into Poppy’s arms from high above. At first, Iris and Edie were a bit concerned, but Edie screwed up her courage with some crazy face making, and soon Iris was assured it was safe. Mimee gave them each some pointers and they all refined the art of jumping. Poppy made sure everyone landed safely, setting them in the soft sandy fall leaves.
Another day, another beach walk. Baby was still not ready to come down and play, and I was wearing pretty thin. Or rather hugely thick. Every chance we got, we headed out to some nature, especially water ways, to keep my spirits up and to call down the water baby. One day, after a great French Dip at Grub Hut, we tromped over to Point No Point for a different kind of beach. The large pebbles helped me stroll the aches out of my hips, and we saw handfuls of huge beached red jellyfish. As we approached the middle of the walk, an animal I first took to be a dog skittered itself off into the sea and we realized it was a sea otter! None of us could remember seeing a sea otter in the wild before, and as the creature swam alongside our adventure, I couldn’t help thinking it was bringing a happy message. I watched the sunlight through small green rolling waves, and saved the image in my heart for when the baby would one day find a way out.
About this picture, Edie says, “I like me! I look cute. No Point, Yes Point. We’re riding on the favorite thing I always wanted to ride on. It feels good. I like it. I want to ride on it again some day. Side to side to side to side. You stand like this on the edge and you hold a hand and the one that rides you does this: rock rock, rock rock. Mama’s rocking baby. I love you, Mimee and Poppy. I really want to go to class.”
We got pretty silly.
One of the really great opportunities Edie had while waiting was joining Mimee at her job at the YMCA, where she could join the children’s classes, Ballet, Tap, and swim lessons. Edie’s second swim lesson, Iris hopped in with her after class for extra playtime. We haven’t had a lot of time in the water before, so this time it was Iris’ turn to help Edie feel safe in a strange situation. Mimee and Poppy each took turns playing in the pool with Edie, so she got lots of time to get comfortable. She’s already kicking herself around with just a noodle to help.
Little did we know, that second swim lesson was to be Edie’s last night as an only child!
Stay tuned for the next episode: Meet the baby!