Friday, July 20, 2012


As I glanced across the pool this afternoon, I spotted Tim and Ainsley at the snack bar. (Yes, this would be the snack bar I swore my kids would not be frequenting. Oh well.)

There stood Tim looking tall and tan. And there stood little Ainsley perched on a stool.

The boy with the dark, shaved head. And the girl with the blonde bob.

The one conceived with all the naive over-confidence of the young and healthy who think,"Gee, it'd be nice to have a baby about now" and it happens. And the who arrived completely by surprise after years of longing and loss.

My first born. And my baby.

As I overhauled Ainsley and John's room the other day, the state of the closet gave me pause. The dresses, oh the dresses. I started to count them and then I had to stop. The total is probably hovering around thirty. Thirty. Maybe just twenty-five. But maybe more.

Whatever the number, it's excessive.

Whenever I confront our excess, I imagine standing before God and facing this element of life in middle class America, this element of my life.

And I start to imagine the excuses I'll proffer.

-- Well, you know, most of these were hand-me-downs.

-- Well, you know, of the few that I bought, most of them came from consignment shops. (I'll be sure to point out the brown velvet with the faux leopard trim that I snatched up for a mere three bucks.)

-- Well, you know, I always pass them down to other people.

And then I think, no, I'll dispense with all the silly excuses.

I'll stand in the presence of God and say: When I was forty-five years old, you handed me yet another gift -- wholly unplanned, wholly unexpected, so very much wanted.

And, you know, I enjoyed every minute of her.

And God will say you're wlecome.


christinelaennec said...

I, too, have an unexpected gift of a daughter and I am aware of my luck every day.

God will indeed say 'you're welcome'. Do you know the poem 'God Says Yes to Me' by Kaylin Haught? "I asked her if I could wear nail polish / or not wear nail polish / and she said honey/ she calls me that sometimes / she said you can do just exactly / what you want to / Thanks God I said / And is it even okay if I don't paragraph / my letters / Sweetcakes God said / who knows where she picked that up / what I'm telling you is / Yes Yes Yes." (From The Palm of Your Hand)

I think you're right, God is applauding Ainsley's dress collection and enjoying it all with you.

Erica S. said...

I love your post. We are praying for more children, but at 36 years old, I sometimes think it will not happen. Thank you for reminding me that God's plan is not my own and that His timing is perfect.

Kelly said...

Christine - You very much communicate the joy you find in your family. It's beautiful. I hope I get along as well with Ainsley when she is a teenager as you do with your daughter.

Erica - I will remember you in our prayers tonight. People often commend us for "good family planning" when, believe me, the plan was all God's.

christinelaennec said...

Hello again Kelly,
I was so touched by your reply to my comment. I think chances of you and Ainsley getting along well are very good.

Just to let you know, I have nominated you for an Illuminating Blogger Award! Your blog is hilarious and very thought-provoking (sometimes in the same post). Thank you! Details here:

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