Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Game of Life

Lately Jon and I have enjoyed our lazy evenings together playing games such as LIFE Twists and Turns, Scattergories, and Trivial Pursuit Digital Choice. It's been such a fun way to relax and laugh together, to enjoy our time as husband and wife before our lives change forever in a mere eight or nine weeks. Eight or nine weeks! I can't believe it. The other night Benjamin moved in such a way that I could feel the wholeness of the little person that he is....and I just panicked! "Jon, this is a real baby!" I cried. "I don't know what to do when he's born! I know nothing about being a mom!" Now, I don't know how you all will judge me for such an outburst of honesty, but I really know NOTHING about being a mom. Jon calmed me down sufficiently and helped me organize my thoughts and my growing list of things to do in order to prepare for baby. But it caused some reflection.

I think I was playing a game, playing house or The Game of Life, and suddenly I woke up and realized I was in real life with a real marriage and a baby on the way and no idea what to do. (Are you all horrified? I can't help it....my church has taught me to be forthcoming with my shortcomings.) In Life Twists and Turns, you accumulate "Life points" by getting married and having babies, getting promotions, drawing good cards. It's all very clean and easy. The other night I ended the game as a military captain with a Phd and eight children, having won the lottery thrice and taken a much needed vacation in Tahiti. I also had a midsized ($500,000) home but I was still riding around the board on a skateboard (I just couldn't land on a car space!). My net worth was just over $3million. Jon and I laughed over the absurdity of the game. Eight children and no labor and delivery, no mention of diapers or breastfeeding, no lamaze class, no searching for a pediatrician, no shopping for health insurance for any of the babies, no pregnancy symptoms whatsoever, no fear of the future, no insecurities over being the best mom...or at least a good mom...or just an okay mom.

But, you know what else? No joy in announcing a grandbaby to your parents, no watching him grow from .32 cm to his current impressive size, no fun in wondering if it's a boy or a girl, no joy in naming him, no feeling that first little movement, no enjoying almost every part of life growing within. And without the mess, where is the satisfaction? Without the insecurity, where is the opportunity for faith?

Real life is messy and hard work and scary at times. But it is full of joy and the whole range of human emotion that makes life and family worthwhile. And I am reminded again that my very real life is not left up to chance...there is no mere roll of the dice...but it is held most securely in the grasp of the Almighty hand. And it's a lot more fun than any game!

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