This winter we were presented with a little surprise. Make that a big one: we’re expecting a baby.
Funny how I used to think I could direct my life, but in fact, this journey is more like navigating a ship through the waves and storms, the sunsets and calm stretches. Events beyond our control, like economic crashes, hurricanes, and even our innermost psychological states, do not respond to our steering wheel. They are the ocean itself.
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans,” Woody Allen once said. Accepting this gift has been a lesson in surrender, and I am humbled to say that I have given in.
Sure, I had begun to set sights on taking my writing to the next level (and eating in a restaurant where the menu is not posted over the cashier), but those ambitions were easy to put to rest. My main thought was, how am I going to manage it all? On top of a busy household, including a wild and wooly two-year-old and a budding adolescent, huge projects had already been set in motion — a major home renovation (more on that in another post) and a total website redesign after having lost all of my images last fall.
But now that I’ve emerged from the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester, my new motto is, I can do it! A child is a blessing, as many couples who struggle to conceive know painfully well, and I am grateful to be entrusted with this unique joy and responsibility once again.
Already I can’t imagine life without her.
Our baby is due in August and, after much discussion with our daughters, Sofia and Virginia, we have a name: Diana Lux Fiamma. Enrico’s Catholic mom would have called Diana a pagan name, but we think it sounds beautiful in both Italian and English, and it fits perfectly with our daughters’ love of ancient mythology.
Lux means light in Latin, and Fiamma means flame in Italian. (I think she is going to be a feisty one.)
Sofia was the first to have two middle names, a usual practice in Italy. We had already picked out her first middle name — Stefania — to honor the friend who matched me and Enrico. The second one came after the terrorist attacks of 9/11: I was in New York visiting friends and was five months pregnant with Sofia when Enrico’s mom promised God that we would name the baby after the Virgin Mary if he would save me. “You can’t make promises to God for other people!” I protested at first, but we all now agree that Maria has added a welcome layer of history.
Virginia’s middle names honor her two grandmothers — Emilia and Lynn — so we let our two daughters choose the middle names for their new baby sister.
Mark and Luke are nonplussed about having another sibling. Mark, who is almost five, complained about having “another whiny baby” and suggested we name her “Breadstick.” Luke, two years old, just said, “I want to see the baby.”
Friends and family have been so supportive, and I feel doubly blessed to have such loving, accepting people in my life. Not that long ago, five children was not a big deal, but for some reason, today it seems like a lot. Enrico was named after his grandfather who had five children, so maybe it was written in the stars long ago.
I don’t know what this baby has to do with frugality or saving money — probably just the opposite — but I wanted to tell you because, as readers of this blog, you are important to me. Getting ahead in the blogging world no longer interests me, but this blog has provided a connection to the world beyond my little life, and it makes me feel less small and alone.
Thank you for being here,