I was cleaning today (yippie!) and came across some notes I'd made when I was 16 weeks pregnant with my two-year-old. I want to share that story.
The now-four-year-old/then-21-month-old went with me to that doctor's appointment - this was not a usual occurance. As much of an advocate as I am for not underestimating children, at that point we had really not talked to him much about the coming baby. I wasn't sure what would make sense. I wasn't showing yet. He was still sleeping in his (soon to be the baby's) crib. It had only been a week previoius that I'd first heard him identify an infant with the word "baby." I knew the time would come when we would talk about it, but I was waiting until my tummy was changing and he was in his big bed.
And yet, that appointment turned out to be a wonderful gift. When it came time to listen to the baby's heartbeat, I climbed on the table and laid back. The then-21-month-old wanted to be on the table with me, so he sat on my legs. As our midwife put the instrument on my belly and we began to hear sounds, my little boy who rarely sat still was still, quiet and focused. He couldn't take his eyes off that strange thing on mommy's tummy. Then, after watching both myself and the student nurse put our hands on the speaker to feel the heartbeat, he reached out and did the same. He held it there so still and just seemed to soak in the moment.
I don't know what he realized in that moment. Did he have any idea that he was hearing his little brother for the first time? Or was he just fascinated with this strange, new piece of techonology? I don't know. But, for just a moment I glimpsed a special connection between my two children that I hoped would grow. And I wondered if this isn't how God hopes we will all greet one another - still, quiet, focused with a hand reached out in wonder as we take in who the other is.