For nearly ten years, I have received by-the-minute-up-dates about the children from Wife. I’ve always known, whether I wanted to know or not, when a child cut their first tooth, when they first rolled over, and when they did whatever came next. I’ve been the first Wife told for so long, that I had started to think of it as an inconvenient right of mine. And so, I would attempt to show the appropriate amount of excitement, while feeling little of it. Wife was never fooled.
After eight children, I felt I had a good idea of the flow of our babies’ development. And the other night, when the baby was about two weeks old, I realized that Wife had not yet announced that his umbilical cord had fallen off. I inquired when she thought it would happen. She responded, “Oh, it fell off days ago.”
I was shocked. What happened? Why wasn’t I told? When did I get taken off the Need-To-Know List!
Wife then said that the children had all gotten very excited when she told them.
The kids knew before me?
She said that they all “oohed” and “awed” very nicely. They peered into the empty belly-button. They squealed with pleasure. I think someone even asked if they could keep the umbilical cord. (Don’t get grossed out. Wife wouldn’t allow that.) The girls were especially excited. Wife found in her little court of young ladies, all the enthusiasm over the baby that she felt herself.
I, on the other hand, with all my external indifference, had worked myself out of a job. That was unexpected!
I’ve heard it said before that nature has a way of filling in the gaps, or that God provides whatever is needed. So, He gave Wife daughters first, to give her the help she would need. In our four girls, she found little hands to make her work lighter. Either with meals, cleaning their younger siblings, or house work, they are their mother’s big helpers. As they are growing into young ladies, they are also becoming lifetime companions for one another, as well as for their mother.
While part of me misses the attention that our girls are now getting from Wife, I am happy to see the job done properly. After all, it’s never good to try and force a square peg into a heart shaped hole.