At the halfway point of my pregnancy, I'm finding that more and more things are jumping out at me as important lessons for our little one. It's almost overwhelming sometimes when I start to think about all of the amazing things in the world that our baby will see and experience for the first time. While I am so excited about all of that, like most (heck...all) moms I have my fair share of worries.
As our gender reveal approaches, I've found that I'm not really focused on finding out if our baby is a boy or a girl because I want to know if we'll be raising a little basketball player (like his dad) or a little girl who wants to dance, put on makeup and learn how to cook (like her mom). Don't get me wrong, I can't wait to find out if we're having a daughter or son, but I've found that what I'm most focused on recently are the things I want our child to learn, no matter the gender.
Here are just a few things that I want our baby to know (in no particular order...and pardon my "stream of consciousness" typing):
Church. I want our baby to grow up in a church and feel comfortable and welcome. I want our little one to have a strong relationship with God, no matter if we end up in the Methodist Church or the Catholic Church. And regardless of whether our baby is baptized Catholic or Methodist I want our child to have a full knowledge and acceptance of both churches, because both are very important to us.
Family. Family has always been number one to both Adam and me. We were both raised by parents who instilled the importance of strong family relationships in us, and I want our little one to grow up with that same notion. I want our baby to know his/her grandparents well, all of them. I want our baby to be close to his/her aunts (and one day uncles...and one other day...cousins...no pressure guys). And I am so looking forward to establishing a special relationship with our child. I want to make sure that Adam and I bond with our baby together, but also have unique individual relationships with our baby. I am looking forward to forming our little family of three. I know how important our parents have been to us, and I can't wait to provide that for our little one.
Manners. I hope that Adam and I will raise our child to have wonderful manners. I want to raise a baby who will know that napkins go in laps, mouths are closed when chewing, and elbows do not rest on tables. I want our little one to be able to write a nice, hand-written thank you note and hold a conversation with an adult. I want our child to be comfortable in a room full of adults without needing to be "plugged in" to some kind of electronic device.
Support. I want our little one to know that his/her dad and I are behind him/her 100%, no matter what. If we have a child whose interests are different from our own (ie: a little girl who doesn't like dance, but prefers science camp or a little boy who doesn't like basketball, but prefers piano lessons) that he/she is loved and that we will absolutely learn all we can about science camp, playing the piano or whatever else it may be so that we can fall in love with something new too. We want our baby...and our family to be well-rounded even if that means mom and dad have to step out of our comfort zones.
True Happiness. Finally, and this is by no means the actual end to the list, but rather the end to this novel of a post, because if you've stuck in here to read this with me...then props to you...I know you're getting bored, so I'm wrapping it up... I want our baby to know true happiness. I want our baby to laugh and smile. I want our baby to get chills when he/she hears a beautiful piece of music, or get that rush of adrenaline you get when you score in a basketball game, step out on stage at a dance recital, or when you present your project at the science fair (not that this is something I know about...but I'm willing to learn!) And I want to make sure that our baby knows that happiness doesn't necessarily come in a box wrapped up in pretty paper, but rather in the relationships and experiences of a full and happy life.
These are all things that Adam and I talk about here and there, things that we know without a doubt are important to our little family of three. I know that our expectations might be high...and that we don't know much or anything really about parenting. But I hope that Adam and I can figure out a way to make these priorities in our parenting. I'm sure that as I keep on going through the rest of this pregnancy, and then more-so once this little one is born, that theses kinds of realizations will only multiply. The list will keep getting longer and I hope that Adam and I can keep up! Thinking about raising a child is pretty overwhelming, but it's also an exciting opportunity that I feel blessed to have. I love this little nugget and I am looking forward to all of the craziness that will ensue when he/she arrives!