Finding out that you’re expecting when you weren’t expecting it is so shocking and, well, unexpected that it takes awhile to wrap your brain around it. Which, as we learned, is to be expected.
The day I passed that particular test was the day the earth shifted on its axis, the sun stood still and there were tremors in the earth’s crust. Okay. So they were real local tremors, but I felt them in my crust, and that’s no lie.
The quake spread when we broke the news at a family gathering soon thereafter. Crusts cracked right and left, rendering the entire Schrock clan speechless for a solid five, a phenomenon that was duly registered on the list mentioned above.
When I called my mother the next day, crying, she said, very calmly, “It will be alright. I have a hunch you’ll look back and be amazed at how everything worked out.”
She was right. In the six years since the advent of the Gift Unexpected, we’ve been truly amazed at how things have worked out.
Funny, isn’t it, how the smallest things can be the biggest disruptions? How the smallest things can be the biggest blessings? That, we discovered, was the case with Baby Boy.
Oh, it was surreal, buying diapers again. Having nighttime feedings when you thought you were done. Cutting teeth. Safety latches. Washing walls behind a budding Picasso. Potty training and driver’s training. At the same time.
Time passed, and the baby, he became a toddler, driving cars around on Mother’s desk. He climbed. He crawled. He slipped beneath her desk, striking suddenly, one small hand appearing behind the keyboard, typing gibberish on her screen. Looking down, there he was, bright blue eyes shining up at her.
His brothers, they were enthralled. They loved the little mite with a love fierce and tender, changing diapers, babysitting, bouncing, entertaining with never a word of complaint. They celebrated his achievements and cheered his milestones. They poured their sweetest affection right into him and, in return, received his love and admiration.
His daddy? Well, he was captivated, too, and cared for his smallest son with a gentle strength that spoke of another Father’s love. And the toddler loved him back.
His mama? She was a goner, swept away by yet another set of Daddy’s eyes and another double crown. Once more, there were books to read. Once more, a dimpled grin. Once more, cowboy jammies. Once more, those dark brown rooster tails.
Today, the child is six. In the blink of an eye, the space of a heartbeat, it came – the end of one era, the beginning of the new. Just as we’d expected.
I find myself in this new season, giving thanks for all we’ve received that we didn’t expect. For the coming of Little Schrock has completed our family unit, enriching our lives in ways unexpected.
In six short years, he’s taught us a lot. We’ve learned, all of us, about sacrificial love in days long and busy, in nights of exhaustion. His brothers, who diapered and cuddled and held him and helped, learned about fatherhood. They don’t know it yet, but they’ll know it one day.
His father? Well, that big, strong man took it all in stride and learned in the doing that you get far more than you gave away when you give all you have and a little bit more. For years, he bathed, fed and dressed his little boy, taking him to the office in The Big Red Truck on Mama’s writing days. They bought breakfast on Fridays, played cars and watched ‘toons. They built bonds, those two did, love weaving threads in a tapestry bright, a foundation strong.
His mama? She learned once again that God can be trusted. That He knows what He’s doing. That He blesses thousandfold the heart that says “yes,” arms opening wide to gifts unexpected.
Gifts welcomed. Gifts loved. Gifts received in the hardness. Sowing love, reaping joy. That’s what Little’s mama learned, for just earlier this spring, she had the unspeakable privilege of leading one more “little” to Jesus.
On a bright April day, he’d bowed his head and repeated the prayer, faith lisping on lips. His face, when he raised it, flushed pink, shining peace. It was clear that he’d been with Jesus.
The Class of 2025 is in school. So ends a very special chapter in this family’s life. Goodbye, trips to Daddy’s office on Mama’s writing days. Goodbye, Breakfast Burrito Fridays. Goodbye, daily naps and lunches with Mama. Goodbye, parking lot on the desk and Sesame Street with Elmo.
Hello, great big world. Hello, quiet house. Hello, school and homework and books and math. Hello, new season, new chapter, new stories.
Note: This “Grounds for Insanity” column was published in the 08/20/12 edition of The Goshen News.