Oh, it's my cell phone, and thank goodness I remembered to bring it in here.
I fumble to get the screen unlocked as I see it is Shawna's cell and I know that can only mean one thing. It's time to go. When Rachel was born, Shawna was TEN.DAYS.LATE! And today, she has ten days to go until her due date. I haven't talked to her or anything yet today, but based on my own experience, I'm guessing she's gonna say that having a baby ten days early, is so much better!
Back to the morning, with a sleepy brain, I hear Shawna say that her water just broke and the two of us try to figure out if it would be better for one of us to come over there to sleep or for one of us to come get Rachel and bring her back to our house. We decide that it would be better for Lawrence to run out, pick her up, and bring her back here to get ready for school in the morning. That way, Josh and Shawna can tell her what's going on and I can get everyone ready for school together in the morning here because it's also my morning to be classroom mom at Lily's school for a few hours.
Before we get off the phone, Shawna says in the sweetest, most excited, little girl voice, "Jenny, this means I'm gonna have a baby today. Oh my gosh. I'm going to have this baby today, right?" I laugh and promise her that she will. (Oh dear I hope she will). And make sure I tell her I love her a million times before I hang up and call one more time for one more question about after school coverage to which she answers the phone"What's Up?" like the most casual thing in the world, haha.
It was a good decision because Rachel got here and went right to sleep, after only moments. I lay awake reflecting at what a big girl she was and thinking about how a few years ago, if they'd spaced their children closer together, waking sensitive Rachel up at 4am and having her say goodbye to her parents and taking her to our house and trying to get her back to sleep could really have ended in disaster. I worried the whole time Lawrence was gone if I shouldn't have gone instead, a warmer voice, more comforting words, for the ride back over. But this Rachel is happy but still, wide-eyed, and so mature, she's watched after Shawna like a little guard dog her entire pregnancy, and she knew exactly how she needed to be, now that the big day had arrived. She was sweet and quiet and brave when she got here. She smiled, told me to turn the life off in the room where I'd made her a bed, said she didn't need anything, and went straight to sleep.
When she woke around 6:20 in the morning, she came downstairs and I asked her if she wanted to get Lily up. She did. Lily told me later Rachel woke her by saying "Lily" and she felt her hot breath. LOL. The girls were so happy yawning in their PJs together on a school day. Bryson started to grab Rachel's little stuffed Stitch Pumpkin doll and Lily said, "Rachel, do you mind if it gets some spit on it?" Rachel said, "No I don't mind, I'm going to have to get used to a lot more spit than that". They laughed over chosing what to eat for breakfast and how to have me fix their hair.
It was just so sweet. My girls acted like she was the queen of the world now that she was going to be a big sister today. Lily kept telling her things like, "Rachel, today you will get your first baby, ever". "Rachel, I'm so happy that you are going to be a big sister today". And Addie too, gave her knowing nods and smiles, "Yo baby wiw be he-ah toDAY, Waychel" . I loved that they made her feel so special today in a way that only two little best friends could. I loved that they really did know how special it was and it was such genuine happiness for her. And I loved how happy it made Rachel to get such sweet assurance and admiration from her friends. The whole morning was crazy and busy, and just so incredibly perfect.
It was made even more perfect in that I did not miss Rachel's bus. But I cut it dangerously close, so I wasn't sure for a minute. Shawna thought it would be better for her to ride the bus as usual. Again, I was worried about doing the wrong thing and messing up the day for her. Luckily, nothing could have ruined Rachel's mood today. She was totally cool, calm, and collected. A very mature big sis-to-be. I said, "Rachel, if we miss this bus [near your house], are you fine if I just drive you all the way to school and Lily and I walk you in?", she's like "Sure!". Then I asked her about her birthday party scheduled for tomorrow because she and Lily were discussing it (and about which Shawna was worried about on the phone this morning!), "Are you worried about what happening with your party tomorrow?" "No", she said, "I'll be fine if it's next weekend, I just care about my baby". Awww. She just looked so sweet and innocent and somber as she said it, making eye contact with me in the rear view mirror!
So we got to her stop, and we dropped her overnight bag at her house, and we watched her get on the bus, and we waved profusely. I thought about all the ways her little life will change forever. All the great, amazing ways. And she was just getting on her bus, sat next to two other girls and waving profusely back. She was all knowing about something special happening to her today. I sacraficed grabbing my camera for making it to the bus stop on time, but I did snap a few with my phone to send to her mom and dad.
Amazing that a little under six years ago, these two Kingergarteners met at a daycare center and introduced their sets of parents, who would become the best of friends, friends who could count on each other as family.
Waiting for the bus and waiting on the call from mommy and daddy to say that their little family of three was now their little family of four.
It occurred to me how special it feels to be part of someone's big day, even with the smallest of favors, it feels so good to be asked. It even feels good to be asked at four in the morning. And for the first time, in what feels like a long time, it was easy to say yes. My plate wasn't so full that I couldn't do it. It worked out great. It's an honor to be part of it. And new babies - the excitement, change, and anticipation that surrounds them, just does not get old no matter how many times you've experienced it for yourself or those that you care about. As I was typing one of Rachel's comments over text message to Josh, it occurred to me that it might be sort of special for me to write down the happenings of the morning, not only for those of you who know them, but also for them to read and for Rachel, Lily's first and best friend, to have something documented about the morning before she became a big sister.
I hope I will be back soon to post - a big sister to who?
I hope I will be back soon to post - a big sister to who?
Send out your good vibes, your prayers, your positive thoughts, or whatever it is you do - for Shawna's strength and endurance, to have the drug-free birth she wants, and for Josh to be an amazing support to her, as he was last time, and as he always is. Stay tuned!