Thursday, March 20, 2003

Jenny's Journal: "Follow that Cool Belly!"
by Jenny Silliman
March 20, 2003

Question: When a couple is expecting a baby any day, what do ya get when the mother wears size XL and the father, that stands at 6 foot 3, and also wears size XL?
A. An XL baby belly.
B. A public spectacle.
C. A conversation topic.
***D. All of the above. *** You guessed right!

I'm not a particularly outgoing person and I've struggled with being overweight for about 30 years, so when perfect strangers in the grocery store look you up and down and actually exclaim, "You're huge!" it is a little disconcerting. You'd think folks had never seen an XL pregnant woman before the way they gape and gawk and stare.

My husband, Cliff, has no problem telling the world all about it--and he actually does every chance he gets. He's the most outgoing man! Every clerk gets to see the family photo and hear all about how the Bible says children are a blessing and how baby #8 is on the way. I come along later and they know my life story, practically.

At the check out line I squeeze in with my watermelon belly and somehow hope to talk about the weather or the price of apples, but usually become a topic of a conversation that usually goes something like this: "Wow! You are huge! When are you due? It must be a boy 'cause you are carrying low."

The other thing people seem to be fond of saying is "You've dropped!" I have a hard time knowing what to say in response. I think to myself: "Just call me Humpty Dumpty." If I had dropped every time people say I've dropped, my belly would be down around my ankles somewhere.

You'd think I would have gotten used to it by now as this is our eighth baby blessing and we always have at least a ten pounder. This pregnancy has been unusual for me as our 18 year old daughter, Valerie, has taken on most of the grocery shopping and I get to stay home more. Yea!

A couple of weeks ago I stood at my bathroom mirror in my slip and thought about my day--I had several errands to run and I kind of dreaded going out into public. Sometimes I'm up to being a large pro-life statement, but this was one of those days I wanted to just slip by unnoticed and incognito. Well, I guess God knew I would need a little boost. Luke, age 3, came in the bathroom, sat down on his potty chair and gazed up at me and said, "Mama! You have a cool belly!"

Standing a bit taller and admiring my silhouette in the mirror I responded, "Yea! It is a cool belly, isn't it?" I decided to hold my head high and even strut my stuff a little bit that day--after all I am carrying some precious cargo! Yesterday I received a card in the mail from a friend with this little poem to remind me of just that:

Dear little Baby
Whose life I now hold
More precious by far
Than all the earth's gold

Eagerly awaited by
A chosen two
Who will help you and guide you
In all that you do

Be patient sweet Babe
Your time draws near
Our arms are wide open
To welcome you here.

Love in Jesus,
<>< Cliff and Jenny Silliman, 931 S 7th, Sequim, WA 98382
Dan 20 Val 18 David 16 Mike 12 Josh 10 Stephen 5 Luke 3
Baby Darlin' Dumplin' due 03-23-03
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