She crept to the bedroom door this morning and whispered the all important question "Is it the new baby's birthday today?"
He opens his big blue eyes and exclaims to the ladies at church "We have a CAKE at home for the new baby's BIRTHDAY! Baby will come out soon, it is having a rest now"
I enfold myself into my home preparing, completing the never-ending list of last-minute jobs.
As I put the bag of balloons in the top of the cupboard memories of Christopher - less than 24 hours old - laying asleep in my arms, a sparkly party hat perched on his head - wash over me. It was just a moment ago.
Memories of Erin exploring the newborn Billy, wide eyed with surprise that such a creature exists, erupt within me. It was just a minute ago.
Memories of the newborn girl on my belly looking up at me, smacking her lips in anticipation of a feed and looking not the least startled. It was barely a second ago.
Part of me can't wait for the birth of this baby. Thrills that words don't come close to discribing are in store for me.
Part of me has learned that after that moment, my ability to protect them diminishes, and continues to diminish as they grow.
I place this child in your hands.
Pour out your blessing on my offspring, my baby.
Watch over this child all their days.
Hold their hands when my hands are too busy.
Watch over them when my eyes are elsewhere.
Speak to their hearts words of direction when words fail me.
Hold them when my arms are too full.
Strengthen them when they and I are exhausted.
Help them to fly when we lack the ability to crawl.
Counsel them to good choices when my own mind is so full of confusion
that I have no words of wisdom to offer.
Let not this world fracture them.
Guard their purity.
Break the hands of evil people who reach out to harm them.
Grind their fingers to dust if they seek to hurt my baby.
Stand before them, Lion of Judah, and let your mighty roar scatter all those with ill intent.
May this child stand and say "The Lord has Protected me all the days of my life"
May this child sing "You made me trust in you even at my mother's breast"
May this child testify of your love.
May this child glorify your name.
May this child say "The Lord answered the prayers of my mother and He has done wonders in my life."