Two weekends ago I ordered Eliana's nursery furniture. I had some coupons for Babies R Us that were only good that particular weekend, so after finding a set that I liked, I went ahead and ordered it. That alone was a difficult step... Spencer was away on a men's retreat, and he was trusting me to just go ahead and buy it.
I had always been told that nursery furniture takes weeks and weeks to come in; however ours arrived back at the store in four DAYS. It caught me a bit off guard, and I wasn't quite prepared to pick it up just yet. However, on our way home from visiting Spencer's mom for Thanksgiving, we picked it up, and thanks to my dad's help, got it safely home.
Thought it was here, I didn't feel any sort of rush to get things set up. The room that will be Eliana's nursery needed to be painted, and I just sort of figured we would put the boxes in there and wait a while. Until this point, that room had housed some boxes we didn't know what to do with when we moved in, as well as gifts and other items that belonged to Isaac that are now put safely away in his cedar chest. My sweet husband, however, had other ideas about the paint situation and what to do with the boxed furniture.
With Christmas fast approaching, and his grad school course work picking up, Spencer wanted to get his part of setting up Eliana's room finished now while he had the time to really focus on it. So, he while he prepped the room to be painted, he sent me out to get the paint color that the Pottery Barn Kids catalog recommended to coordinate with the bedding we had picked out.
The main behind the paint counter was really kind, and starting chatting with me about my pregnancy, the paint for the room, etc. I was trying to figure out whether or not we needed a primer, and the man asked what color the walls were now.
"Yellow," I answered.
Yellow. How badly I wanted to tell him blue...
About how the room had been used by our sweet son Isaac, but now we were moving his room over in order to prepare for Eliana's arrival. But that wasn't how it all happened, even though we wished so deeply that it was.
Instead, we painted over yellow... no primer needed. Yellow walls that were there when we moved in, and that remained there because we never had the chance to set the room up for our sweet son.
While there was so much joy in picking out her furniture, painting the walls candy stripe pink, and seeing her room starting to come together, it all still doesn't feel just right. It still feels like there's this missing piece, a piece that even Eliana's arrival won't, and can't, replace. I know that as we continue to prepare, decorate the nursery, and anticipate bringing her home, there will be a part of me that wishes that this wasn't the first time I was doing these things.
I suppose that these exciting preparations still serve as reminders of what was lost, and in such a tangible way. It's not a matter of feeling like it's hard OR feeling excited about preparing for Eliana; the fact remains that it's both. They co-exist... polarized emotions contained in one human being; I don't know that I could have ever imagined a capacity so large.
And in His goodness, God continues to give us just enough grace for each moment... for each trip to Babies R Us, for each doctor's appointment, for each conversation with a stranger who kindly asks if this is my first, for each of the preparations. Just enough grace for each step of the way.