Saturday, June 24, 2017

Elizabeth wore "the Dress"

I used to imagine my future children, wondering how many I would have, what they would be like... would I have sons or daughters or both? It wasn't until I became an adult that I learned just how simultaneously complex and simple, beautiful and painful these child-bearing years can be. My heart has been broken and mended more times that I am willing to name.  We don't take these journeys alone, because we do it alongside other hopeful friends who have varying degrees of difficulty, joy and grief along the way.

So, here I am-- cuddled up on a Saturday morning watching cartoons with 3 daughters and my sweet hubby while a rare summer morning storm brews outside. The scenario of my imagination has become my reality and I don't take these gifts for granted. With 3, most of our life is a glorious whirlwind of activity, but we try to take the moments as they come as best as we can. 

A little over 3 months ago, a precious soul entered the world with minimal cries, adorably large cheeks and an immediate commitment to cuddling.  Once again, our hearts swelled with incredible love for this new soul in our care.  I cried tears of relief and joy as I heard her first noises and then felt her nuzzle into my neck. We named her Elizabeth Allen.

Like our other daughters, we labored over the perfect name.  You can read about Grace and Allison.  When we found out we were expecting, we started the process of making lists and experimenting with potential names.  One night, about a week before we found out the sex of this third child, I had a very vivid dream that our baby was born and we named her Elizabeth Allen.  The next morning I told Daniel about my dream, and a week later, surrounded by family and friends, we opened a bag full of pink balloons.

Elizabeth is an old Hebrew name, based on the Greek translation Elisabet meaning "my God is an oath" or "my God is abundance" and Allen is Gaelic meaning "Harmony" or more literally "small rock."  Elizabeth is my middle name and Allen is my Sweet Hubby's middle name.  Allen was his maternal grandfather's name. Elizabeth is also the middle name of one of my best friends.

Elizabeth Allen may have surfaced in the form of a dream, but as easily as the pink balloons rose out of the bag to our 3 year old and 2 year old daughters exclaiming, "Mommy, pink balloons!!!  Daddy, pink means a girl!" the name felt like it was meant to be hers.  And so, we gave her parts of the names that our parents lovingly gave to us.

And in the tradition of most of the baby girls in my family for the last 60+ years, yesterday was little Elizabeth Allen's day to wear "the dress."

I chose to keep the dress simple, as is, which represents her easy-going, peaceful and pleasant spirit.  Thank God for her sweet nature. And knowing that she has a lifetime of hand-me-downs in her future, I chose the bow that I bought just for her-- that she wore the day she was welcomed into the world and several times since.  Her picture was made in the rocking chair where Grace sat, with our frontdoor in the background where her sister Allie posed for her picture.  She is 3 and 1/2 months old and she is a delight. She is our last, and I worried I might grieve all of the last things-- but instead I have been over-joyed by each one of them.  And like my Mamaw Sue before me, I have three amazing and unique daughters.

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