My niece and her husband are expecting their first child.  It's an everyday occurrence in life really.  Children are born every day - a regular part of life.  But it is the start of a new generation of things on my side of the family.  I feel like life is moving far too fast.  How is it my sisters and I can now be next in the batting order of our kids having kids?  Slow down life!  I command you!  Standing in the bathroom this morning I was telling Doug how great his ass was.  It's ok, he's my husband:)  At 53 years of age he commented that his ass is not great but sagging.  I begged to differ with him.  But I concurred that it was afflicting me as well.   Sagging is gravity and age taking hold.  It's the passage of time across the cells of our bodies.  It's the dawn of a new progressive era for our bodies though.  So is my niece having a baby as the first in our children/nieces to do so.  I remember when she was born.  I remember her screwbally hair and floppy ways.  I can still recall her sitting 2 feet from the TV so engrossed in the show or cartoon that she was oblivious to any other living or inanimate object.  I remember all the stages of physical, emotional and spiritual growth she went through to become the amazing woman she is.  You know all the hard pedal work you do on a bicycle to get up a hill.  It's intense.  Your quad muscles burn.  Your biceps and core are straining to pull your weight and the bike's weight up the hill while fighting the natural course of gravity.  It would seem that this event of the first niece pregnant is like topping the hill for me and my sisters.  We are on the downhill side.  Co-existing inside of me is a twinge of sadness for the changing of the guard, and a bit of relief to see the baton passed.  It's funny, you find yourself so busy working your way up the hill that before you know it the halfway mark has come and gone.  We most definitely could now say that our longer days are behind us.  Knowing the immense privilege, gift and responsibility that lies with being given a child I pray for God's strength and wisdom.  I ask they be given an acute awareness to raise a child in the world we live in.  As my sisters and I seem to be entering the menopausal room, our kids are moving toward a romper room of sorts.  When you get on the other side of something that took great stamina you wonder how you ever made it while it was occurring.  It is no doubt best that we don't fully understand what always lies ahead of us.  We would get overwhelmed.  Inexperience is very beneficial in many ways.  At my age I look at parenting and get exhausted just thinking about the total immersion experience it is.  I think I need a nap.  Which I can take as I have crested the hill and am on the coasting side of life as an empty-nester.

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