Thursday, November 18, 2010

At the Airport

I have a sinking feeling in my chest as I look up at the "departing" monitor in the airport terminal.  I find our flight and check the departure time, only to see that we are delayed almost 3 hours.  My shoulders droop a bit as I gather up my stuff and move out of the way of other people, straining to see.  3 extra hours in a small airport terminal, me and my toddler.  3 hours will put our arrival home somewhere around midnight.  I had scheduled the flight thinking he'd be tucked into bed at his normal time.  Now I feared tantrums, screaming, exhaustion.

The terminal was packed, there were no available seats to be found.  I bought a grilled cheese sandwich and sat on the floor with Jo-boy, feeding him bits and trying to keep him from wandering off.  After that I put him back in the backpack, grabbed my carry on luggage and began my slow march.  Two hours later, aching and exhausted, I find a seat and set him down with crayons and a coloring book.  I don't dare close my eyes, but
I stretch out as best I can and keep one eye on him, scribbling away in his book.

An older man sidles up to us, chats to the baby a moment, asks me his name.  He seems nice.  I know I look awful.  After a few moments of chatting, he asks me that question, the one I always get and that I never know how to respond to.

"Is he your first?"

This time I respond with my usual stutter and blush, ummm no...

He acts surprised but leaves it alone.

Jo-boy is done with coloring, deciding instead to launch his crayons like missiles aimed at a nearby woman who is giving me the evil eye.  I pack our things again, heft his 30 lbs onto my back and start walking again.

I know how I look.

Blue jeans, birkenstocks.  Gray hoodie much like the one I wore all through high school.  Hair in a messy pony tail.  Hardly any makeup.

One child is excusable, almost makes sense, right?  But four?  And what about that one on the way?

I've never had a life that I could quickly and easily answer questions about.

Small talk questions that are usually posed by strangers raise more questions than answers.  "Is he your first?"  No, I am pregnant with my 5th.  Yes I know I look young.  I am.
"Oh, where do your kids go to school?"
Um well actually I homeschool them.
"What hospital are you delivering at?"
Well...we're planning on having this one at home.

I'm not very confident in answering these questions.  In the past, when asked by hairdressers and other kindly, talkative strangers, I haven't exactly lied but I haven't told the whole truth.  Not because I am afraid of what people think, but just because even when my answers are given, there are such large gaping holes.  And sometimes, when I have let it all out, I'm met with a bewildered silence.

After waiting around a terminal for hours, flying home with Jo's head heavy on my shoulder, and finally folding myself into my husband's arms at the end of such a long day, I am so thankful to be home.  Back where I can be who I am and those who know and love me don't mind that I'm having baby #5, or that I look more like a teenage babysitter than a soccer mom.  Back here in my inner circle, I'm so glad I can proclaim from the rooftops my joy at this new addition, and know that all those who love me are rejoicing as well.

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  1. Aww, what a long day. I know what you mean about answering the questions. I'm being induced Saturday. I've had people stopping me for months in the grocery store asking if I'm due and if this is my first. Ha! 98% are shocked to hear it is my 6th. I'm still in my 20's too. Oh, and yes, we homeschool, so the times I shop with all of the kids along are even worse questions - I've been asked if I am a babysitter/daycare lady. Seriously.

  2. Oh, Lydia...Congratulations on your new little blessing!!! Rejoicing with you! God bless!

  3. Noah and I are rejoicing with you! Every little Will baby that was/ever will be born has completely overturned our hearts and we love them so much. As their mom, I know you are feeling that love a thousand, million times more deeply and passionately. Thank you for being open to this blessing and allowing us to revel in the blessing too. I am glad you have found a comfort zone to be yourself and fully enjoy the life you live. Who cares what others think, everyone has a different story. Your story is fantastically alive, interesting, and meaningful! Embrace it! With all that said, I'm sorry you had a rough trip home. Airports are weird too. It's a place where so many people, of all ages, of all cultures, and lifestyles come under one roof, and mostly all under stress. I often find lots of thoughts coming in my head as I find my place there, like who do people see me as if they just looked at me going through the securuty line, taking off my shoes and unloading my sack, and as I sit there waiting, reading a book. Do I ooze anything of the real me. Probably not, and it's okay. ~Love, Amanda

  4. This, right here:

    "I never had a life that I could quickly and easily answer questions about."

    And that's what makes you ... so you! Beautiful, complex, God-created YOU!

    The High Calling community rejoices with you on your newest blessing!

    - Jennifer Dukes Lee
    Contributing Family Editor @ The High Calling

  5. Oh and good gracious do we ever love you dear!

  6. Congrats! I am the oldest of 5, and my mom was 29 when she had the 5th. I loved my biggish family and am sort of sad that we'll stop at 3 and that I'll be 33 when this lovey is born.
    I love stories/lives that aren't quite the norm. That is why I am here, reading and loving your blog.

  7. Thank you all for sweetness! Part of why I love to blog is that I can be a square peg in this round hole world, and still have a place. I'm blessed by all of you!

  8. Well, travelling with all those young 'uns is a real testament to who you are! And stand tall for your family. "Yes, they're mine. And I have to have another four" is a great comeback, especially when given with a smile.

    "Yes I homeschool. And Just look at them. Normal, happy, smart kids. We wouldnt have it any other way."

    Keep doing the right thing!

    Oh, and keep writing. Wow. You are good!

  9. Congratulations Lydia! I am so happy for you!

    And though I've only "known" you through the world of blogs, you are a fantastic mother and any child would be lucky to have you.

  10. Congratulations! How fun. I hope you're feeling alright!

    I agree, sometimes it is hard to explain these things (I can certainly relate on a number of levels), but it's great to have the distinction between self-consciousness about it versus insecurity. Your choices are thoughtful and informed, and while the attention might not always be pleasant or encouraging, you are living authentically and with love. That's something that I definitely admire, and am glad to share the "alternative" label with you, if only for that. :)

  11. Yay for babies!

    I have actually found that I get less questions with 5 kids than I did before. I think people are scared to even ask. :)

  12. Congratulations! Babies are *such* a sweet blessing from the Lord! I've loved "getting to know you" through your blog the last couple months. Still waiting on the part 2 of your story about how you & your Hubby got together. My husband & I got married at 18 & 19 so I love hearing other stories of young love! :)

    Allie aka another "square peg"
    Mama of 2 (so far!)

  13. Congratulations!! Did I miss a previous announcement?? So happy for you guys.

  14. Congratulations! I didn't know you were pregnant again :)

  15. Congratulations on the new blessing! I'm so happy for you all! Did you mention it earlier and I missed it?


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