My Daughter Shares in the Wonder of Being A Mother

My daughter, Carina, is having a daughter next month. In early June, a new little girl will arrive in the world. My granddaughter.

At 8 months pregnant, the size and shape of Carina’s baby are obvious—Baby Callaway is definitely in the world though not quite of it. She can hear her parents’ voices, low hums rumbling through her muted, watery world. She moves with her mother in the motions of daily life, throwing punches to keep Mama on her toes.

I used to remind myself in the last month of my 3 pregnancies: the baby is already here, just hidden on the inside!

Waiting impatiently for each of my three to burst into the world, I would sit on the side of my bed, arms wrapped around my big belly, and stare at that waiting bassinet. What an amazing journey we both had to make, to get that baby from belly to bassinet. Never knowing when or how it would go. Oh, the wonder of being a mother.

Carina is 25 and my middle child. She was in a hurry to make her journey into the world. The doctor said when we arrived for her birth,

 “Were you going to have this baby in the car?”

Lately, my not-so-little girl has slowed down a bit. She has been sitting in her rocking chair beside a waiting cradle, filled with the wonder of being a mother. Preparing for something as close as her own body, yet far from her experience.

She already knows a lot about babies. Not only because she searches and researches what to expect now that she’s expecting. But also because she has cared for babies and kids since she was one herself. When her little sister, Chloe, arrived 2 years after her own birthday, Carina’s love of comforting and caring emerged. I can still see her skinny little arms encircling her baby sister. She adored Chloe from the start. Twenty-three years since have witnessed Carina’s love of baby cousins, cousin’s babies, day camp kids, and the foster children she served for several years.

With her early talking and walking and her endless questions and concerns, Carina challenged me to learn to listen well. And hone my answers to meet her scrutiny. These days, I am privileged to spend lots of time with her. Together we celebrate birthdays, holidays, but mostly everydays, enjoying life together as grown-ups. Our conversations bubble with the love and respect we have for each other. We listen and learn, asking questions and looking for answers together.

Last month for my birthday, she filled a card with words of love. Her gift was, as usual, the perfect equation of thoughtfulness + time. She had summed up her feelings for me as she sat in her daughter’s nursery. The parenting book she read as she rocked reminded her that I was the kind of mother the book described: one who would sit and listen and hold space for her, leaving room for her questions and fears.

She wrote: “I sit here in this rocking chair that soon I’ll rock Calla in, and I feel like the gift of your mothering is sitting right here with us. The love that will flow to my daughter will come from me, yes, but also from you, both in your interactions with her and in your 25 years of instilling acceptance and love into me. Thank you for that. We thank you for that.”

Now it’s her turn. Carina’s wonder at being a mother is just beginning. She and Calla will travel together, moving that baby from her belly to the cradle. Then growing that girl from an infant to a woman. And I couldn’t wish a better mom for the little one that’s coming. As Calla learns to walk and talk, Carina will jump to have an answer for the questions her daughter asks. She’ll remember that the answers don’t always add up or satisfy. She’ll have to come up with her own responses for the tough ones too hard for little kids to chew. She will likely say, “I don’t know” more than her mother did.

Most beautifully, Carina will also pause to recall all she and I have talked about across the years. She will recognize that sometimes the answers are placeholders for conversations yet to come. And in the room with the baby and the cradle and chair, she will rock and ponder ways to make space for the love and conversations to come.

Carina kept me on my toes from the first moves I felt her make. She still does. Inside and out, I have loved the gift of being her mom. I look forward to sitting and listening as she instills acceptance and love into her new daughter. And even as a grandmother, I will still feel the wonder of being a mother.            

my daughter shares in the wonder of being a mother
Here’s me at 8 months pregnant with Carina, 1994.

Please subscribe to my newsletter for occasional updates!

Read more about families in Babies on the Bus: Trust in Life Unfolding

 

 

17 thoughts on “My Daughter Shares in the Wonder of Being A Mother”

  1. Beautifully written and awe inspiring!

    Quick question: Who were you pregnant with when you did the Along the Road album?

    Reply
  2. OHMYGOSH!! I see chloe when i look at your 1994 pic!! I love this! Your kids (and now grands) are SO BLESSED to have a gma/gpa who sings to them-BEAUTIFUL VOICES! I so miss y’all!!! All our BHSE kids are now grown!!! Xoxoxooxxoxo

    Reply
  3. What wonderful memories about motherhood. I have three babies that are in the hands of Christ. I will meet them again someday. I remember when it was happening and my friend’s arms were full and mine were empty, my pastor said I could be sensitive to others in the same situation.

    Reply
  4. Christine, Thank you so much for this! As a Dad & Grampa I can only peer dimly into the world you have described, but, as you often do, you have expanded my vision – this time of what my wife, daughter and daughter-in-law live out daily. I have often wondered about this part of life for you (& Scott) over all these years.

    Reply
  5. What a beautifully written love letter to Carina. And she’s a beautiful girl. Looks like she got 50% you and 50% Scott. I pray that she has a wonderful, easy and safe labor and that the baby will be healthy, strong, and always know the love of God.

    Reply
  6. Christine, thank you for sharing, although the Covid has closed social contact reading your blogs is like having coffee an conversation with one my sisters. Sharing about Calla is inspiring as I watch our youngest son an daughter in law raise they’re 1 yr old. Oops! already sounding like grandpa let me put the pictures away an say Thank so much for sharing.

    Reply
    • Frank, thanks for enjoying the coffee and conversation with me. And blessings to you and your family, grandpa!

      Reply
  7. Beautiful words, so needed at a time like this when the world has lost its way. I have loved and followed your music since the beginning. I’ve grown up as a Mom and now a grandma singing your lyrics and being blessed. Can’t wait to hear of Calla’s arrival AND read your upcoming novel!

    Reply
  8. It’s great to see you have a daughter to “carry on” your family tradition — and then her family tradition!

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Top