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    Two Years Ago Today…

    December 31, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    It’s New Year’s Eve. For most, this is the time for reflecting on what has been while determining, to the extent that it is in our power, what also will be. I have always been a bit sober on this day, and it’s never gone particularly well for me.

    Except for two years ago, when I gave birth to the most perfect baby in the world {admittedly overdue and I looked approximately eleven months pregnant at the time} who has seemingly {if you overlook last year’s severe food poisoning} broken the New Year’s Curse.

    We have a lovely evening planned, and not a drippy nose in sight.

    I do not exaggerate when I say that she was Perfect. I know, I know. Every mommy thinks that her baby is perfect. But this is not what I’m talking about. I’m not saying I’m in love with her and everyone else should be, too, though of course I whole-heartedly believe this. I’m saying that she was, objectively, the Perfect Baby.

    Q. was the sweetest baby you ever met. She only spit up once. Ever. I’m not kidding. She was self-burping. All you had to do was sit her up and the deed was done. She was impeccably clean, all of her own accord {until she discovered the taste of dirt, but I digress}. To this day, she wants a napkin with which to wipe her hands.

    She was the epitome of the Merciful Third Child. What I mean is, God knows that adapting to having three is Hard Work. For the first twelve months of Q.’s life, I felt like I couldn’t sit down, couldn’t leave my house, couldn’t do anything but stay on life’s treadmill and run as fast as I could. It was as if I was juggling a million balls and, if I stopped, they would all fall down and I’d never get them picked up again.

    I have heard that this is unique to having a Third Child. Having a fourth is a piece of cake compared to having a third. Ask me how I know.

    And yet we survived. We survived because Q. was Perfect. She was easy. She rarely cried, and when she did she was trying to tell us something. If we could figure it out {and usually we could}, we fixed the problem and the crying stopped. I can imagine how unbearably hard the transition would have been had Q. been a difficult baby. But she wasn’t, and so we made it and lived to tell about it. This is what I mean by Merciful Third Child.

    This past year of Q.’s toddlerhood has been an absolute joy. She is a petite little thing; we often call her a Sprite. She seems like magic as she runs around in her high heels, smiling all the while. She fears for her possessions, as she has grown up having to worry about her earthly goods being taken from her if she turns her back, so she piles everything in a baby stroller and pushes it around. This is the reason for her second nickname, The Transient. I once entered a room upon hearing her screech “NO!” at the top of her lungs. Her brother was attempting to steal said stroller from her, and he was lifting it up in the air, and she was clinging to the handles with all of her strength, refusing to back down.

    This girl will never be a victim, despite her tiny size.

    As is our tradition, Si and I spent time writing a blessing for her before she was born. The time of writing a blessing is time spent dreaming not of the baby, but of the grown person that baby will someday be. During our time dreaming of Q., this verse came up so often that we tacked it on her birth announcement:

    Blessed is the one who finds
    and the one who gets understanding,
    for the gain from her is better
    than gain from silver
    and her profit better than gold.
    She is more precious than jewels,
    and nothing you desire
    can compare with her.
    Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are irches and honor.
    Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
    and all her paths are peace.
    She is a
    tree of life
    to those who lay hold of her;
    those who hold her fast are called blessed.

    Proverbs 3:13-18

    I know this seems like a large passage to pin on such a tiny person, but the meaning of her various names {first, middle, etc.} are nestled in there, and frankly one of my greatest prayers for all of my children is that they will be wise. In this day of abrasive, unfeminine, angry women, I took joy at this vision of a young woman with pleasant, peaceful ways.

    For now, I and my husband are the ones who hold her, and we consider ourselves blessed indeed.

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  • Reply Kansas Mom January 4, 2009 at 3:28 am

    Maybe it’s something about third babies. Mine is so amazing I tell everyone if all babies were like her, everyone would have tons of them! Barely a month old, she let me pack our entire household for two weeks and then unpack for two more weeks at our new house. And she still sleeps like a dream most nights…I just love her to pieces! (I probably would anyway, but I might not be so happy about it.)

    By the way, I think Roxaboxen is a great book. I very much want to cultivate the creativity and imaginative play shown in the book in my own children.

  • Reply Dean January 1, 2009 at 8:46 pm


    Great post and so true. So proud of our great granddaughter, Q….. A gift from God extraordinaire. And of course, grandparents are never partial!

    Granddad & Grandmother

  • Reply Lift Up Your Hearts January 1, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Happy Birthday, baby Q!

  • Reply Rahime January 1, 2009 at 7:02 am

    hurrah for little Q.

    This makes me think it’s been too long since we’ve dropped by, ’cause I think she was just a wee little one…a few weeks or months old…when we saw you last.

  • Reply Kim January 1, 2009 at 5:26 am

    This is so sweet. When she is old enough she will treasure the post you made about her.

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