Snapshots by Gloria Freeland - April 11, 2008

Bibs, blankets and septic tanks

Mom, daughter Mariya and I traveled to Salina on Saturday to attend a baby shower for my nephew Michael and his wife Kristina. Younger daughter Katie wasn't with us because it fell on the same day as the music regionals in Concordia. And husband Art? Well he said he'd rather spend a day draining a septic tank than to sit around listening to a bunch of women "oohing" and "ahing" over baby things.

Somewhere along I-70, Mariya, who had been reading a book in the back seat, fell asleep, making me think of the many trips she and I took when she was just a baby. She had adjusted to her car seat quickly and often dozed off within just a few minutes of "take-off." Now nearly 22, the movement of the car still easily lulls her to sleep!

I often wonder where all those baby/toddler/young-school-girl years went. When I was pregnant with Mariya, I worried about what kind of mother I'd be. Now I worry about what kind of mother I was. Did I teach her everything I was supposed to? Is she sufficiently independent? Did I prepare her for life's hard knocks? Did I expose her to enough of life's wonders?

And now Michael and Kristina are starting down that same path. I'm sure they'll worry about the same things I did.

But for now, they're caught up in the wonder of having created a child who is due to make his appearance in the world in May. They've already given him a name - Gabriel Michael.

I had trouble deciding what to get for little Gabriel. As Katie and I wandered down the aisles of a local department store a few weeks ago, I had indeed "oohed" and "ahed" over the tiny socks, onesies, bibs, soft blankets and cute little outfits and hats.

"Come on, Mom, just give it up and get something," Katie said, exasperated.

She knows I have this trouble whenever I look at new baby things or when I go through the boxes I've saved of hers and her big sister's baby items.

Mariya knows this, too, and even told my brother Dave that I must be going through empty-nest syndrome.

I don't know that I've ever heard a man say he's going through that. I don't recall seeing many men at baby showers either, although there were a few at this one. In addition to Michael, his father - my brother Dave, Kristina's father and Michael's grandfather were there, but that's pretty unusual. I have a hunch many men feel as Art does. Although his brutal honesty can sometimes irritate me, this time I laughed, for I knew he wasn't joking.

But I enjoyed celebrating Gabriel's impending birth with his family and friends. And I know that once he's here and gets a few years on him, if he wants to know anything about engineering or electronics - or even draining a septic tank for that matter - Great Uncle Art will be glad to help him out.

2008 Index