My mom sometimes talks about how rough it was, right after my little sister Natalie was born. She tells about how she had moments of deep and difficult wondering how it could all work out, raising a baby that was so different from her other six children.
Early last week, my sister and I joked around with my mom about how crazy it would be for us all to drive to the pro-life march in Washington D.C. She was across the country visiting her family, and we were looking at two babies, five adults (two of them frantic moms), strollers, carseats and luggage, no sleeping, and one very tight car. Like we said, it'd be crazy to go.
It's not at all surprising that not even a day later, my mom got a flight changed, lost her luggage, bought back-up toiletries, and made it happen so that she and Natalie were packed and ready to drive through the night to D.C. There we were, rolling into D.C. at 4am like we always knew it would happen.
I think there's a part of the fight that my mom fought 25 years ago that's still unfinished, and it is that of echoing the same grace-filled whisper she once heard, "You can do this. You were made for it. I will help you." It's the same thing she told me when I brought my baby home.
That's why we went this year and that's why my mom took us some 10 other times growing up. It's a peaceful way of passing momentum from one mother to the next.
Of course these aren't her words, they're mine, and I'm only telling it as I observe it to be as her daughter. And while this story is mostly about my mom, there's a whole lot of my Dad and Natalie in there. Who, like a champion, drove across the city in a pinch for those back-up toiletries, texted us hourly to check on us, and pulled strings to change my mom's flight? My Dad, supportive as ever. And who squeezed willingly in the smallest back-row seat the whole trip, upheld her standing title as "baby-whisperer", and maintained group morale by chanting upbeat songs at any given moment? Natalie, as wonderfully herself as ever.
This is only my most recent reason for being thankful for these three people, but there are many more. Being with my Mom, Dad and Natalie makes you start to think that three's not a crowd. Three is most definitely a party.