I turned 31 today, ate cookies, watermelon pie, and ribs, and I had to change my clothes three times because our daughter's outdoor play got unusually messy! It was a great birthday. Two years ago on my birthday, Rebecca and I were living and working in Pittsburgh. Last year we were new parents, in a new country, in new jobs. And this year we are expectantly waiting. Rebecca is pregnant, and due to a complication in her pregnancy, we are both working remotely from the US during this last trimester. If all goes as well as it can, our baby will be joining us about a month ahead of schedule towards the end of June.
Working in Haiti, responding to a disaster, and learning to be a parent this last year has taught me something about patience. Patience is not always something that comes naturally to me. Knowing that something big is coming, either good or bad, and having no option but to wait, is both humbling and hard. I remember holding our sleeping daughter, just 8 months old, the night Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti. The wind was howling, we didn't have access to news, phones or electricity. There was no 911 to call if something went wrong, nothing to do but wait and pray. We had no idea how big the Hurricane would be, whether we would be safe, or what the dawn would bring. It was a very long, sleepless night. While we were safe that night, many others were not.
It is humbling and hard for me to wait; to be patient when things are beyond my control. But this year, I guess, if I've learned anything, it is that much of what matters in life is beyond our control. Watching Madeline play outside today in the sunshine, picking dandelions for her mama and chuckling to herself as she tried to stuff a worm she'd found in her mouth before I would notice, I was reminded again of the joy of letting go and just being alive.