Rock-a-bye cradle, where are you?
Highlands TodayNothing is more achingly slow than the process of waiting for our first grandchild to be born. Every morning I count how many days are left. Tomorrow will be a bit of a milestone - just 100 days to wait.
Published: April 26, 2009
Published: April 26, 2009
One hundred days till I see her tiny pink face. (Yes, it's a girl.)
One hundred days till I get to hold her - a bona fide miracle - in my arms.
One hundred days till I become a whole new person - a grandmother.
Me, a grandmother; it's incredible!
Wasn't it just yesterday that I held her mother in my arms and cried tears of joy over my own firstborn?
Wasn't it just yesterday that I picked out a beautiful new white baby crib, but couldn't afford to buy it? Instead, I had to settle for an ugly, avocado green, used one because my father-in-law bought it for me? I'll never forget how he beamed with pride when he brought me his "gift." I smiled and thanked him, and when he left, I sat down and cried.
Wasn't it just yesterday that I brought home that perfect little pink bundle? I was so nervous I was afraid to lay her down anywhere, let alone in that ugly crib. It seemed so huge and lonely for a tiny newborn.
But God had already made a way to ease my fears. He had brought into my life a new friend named Tressa, a few years older than me, who gave me a beautiful, wooden, rocking cradle that she had used for all four of her children. And she told me its history.
The cradle had been given to her before her first child was born, when she and her missionary husband were dirt poor and couldn't afford any kind of baby bed. It had been a Godsend. The donor was a woman who had used the cradle for all of her own children. Before passing it on to Tressa, she made just one stipulation - that when Tressa's last child outgrew it, she must pass it on to another mother in need. Tressa promised, and she chose me. What an honor.
I placed that beautiful cradle beside my bed, and, for almost four months, I didn't have to put Erin in that ugly green crib. By then it didn't seem so bad. Over the next few years, all three of my children slept first in that cradle, and then in the green crib. I carted both of them from California where my daughters were born, to Minnesota where my son was born, and then to Missouri.
Now I've promised Erin she can pick out any crib she wants and I will buy it for her. I wish I could give her the cradle too, but I don't have it anymore. It came to me with just one stipulation: when my last child outgrew it, I had to pass it on to another young mother who, like me, was unable to afford to buy one. I promised, but I had no idea how hard it would be to keep that vow.
Each time I met a pregnant woman I would think about the cradle and then find some reason not to pass it on. In Missouri, when my son was already 3 years old, I met Janet, a sweet young woman expecting her first child. She was the wife of our assistant pastor, who made very little money, and I knew right away that she was the one meant to have the cradle.
It was incredibly hard to let it go. I wanted so badly to hold onto it and make it a family heirloom by passing it on to my children and grandchildren. But that was not what I had promised to do.
So, with tears in my eyes, I delivered the cradle to Janet, with one stipulation.... More than 20 years have passed and I've wondered many times if Janet did, indeed, pass it on, and to whom. I'd love to track her down someday and find out, but I don't even remember her last name. Maybe that's for the best, but still, I wonder.