on ants and planning

ant holgaish

dear baby-b,

though it is not yet officially summer here {actually, the first day of summer is the day after your due date in a couple weeks}, it has begun to get very warm on a daily basis. and every year with the warm weather comes a little nuisance around this house... a nuisance we call ants. i took the ant photo above last summer while observing these little busy creatures on our outside back steps.

you'll soon discover ants. in fact, i suspect that in a couple of years, they will be a source of curiosity for you. you won't yet see them the way i do... as little pests that invade our kitchen and require pesticide traps to rid them from our territory. {or to put it like your father refers to them... "they're jerks!"}

no... you'll just see them as something to pick up with your hands to practice your ever-developing motor skills, pick apart {poor helpless creatures}, and put in your mouth {though i hope you don't do that last one!}.

well, as is the yearly tradition around here, the ants have infiltrated our kitchen and we have had to buy ant poison to get rid of them. it's a cruel world out there. but we can't have ants crawling all over the clean surfaces where we eat... especially not when you are coming home in a couple weeks.

however... ants are not all bad. in fact, many a wise men have seen the wisdom that ants have and pointed out just how much we can learn from them.

let me tell you a story... it's an old aesop fable, actually. but it is retold here by someone named rose owens. {i found it on a web site.} it goes like this:
one summer day a grasshopper was singing and chirping and hopping about. he was having a wonderful time. he saw an ant who was busy gathering and storing grain for the winter.
“stop and talk to me,” said the grasshopper. “we can sing some songs and dance a while.”
“oh no,” said the ant. “winter is coming. i am storing up food for the winter. i think you should do the same.”
“oh, i can’t be bothered,” said the grasshopper. “winter is a long time off. there is plenty of food.” so the grasshopper continued to dance and sing and chirp and the ant continued to work.
when winter came the grasshopper had no food and was starving. he went to the ant’s house and asked, “can i have some wheat or maybe a few kernels of corn. without it i will starve,” whined the grasshopper.
“you danced last summer,” said the ants in disgust. “you can continue to dance.” and they gave him no food.
there is a time to work and a time to play.
i hope to teach you this lesson by example and by instruction as you grow up in our care. i'm afraid that lesson was not quite instilled in me the way i would like it to have been. you see, i am somewhat of a procrastinator. and i always learned to work very well under pressure with not a lot of time... you know... i like to show up at the eleventh hour and get things done. i think i thrive on that, because when i do a good job under those circumstances, i gain a lot of confidence and pride in my ability to work under pressure.

but truth be told, i would much rather be the kind of person that starts to do the things i need to do as soon as i am aware that they need to be done.

i've operated that way enough times in my life to realize it is a much better feeling. sure... there is not the same high or adrenaline rush that comes with waiting until the last minute to get things accomplished. but there is a bigger sense of pride in the end... knowing you not only accomplished what you set out to do, but that you planned well to achieve that accomplishment and that you did not cut corners to make it happen.

and when everyone else is rushing around trying to finish up what needs to be done, you are sitting back relaxed and calm, knowing that everything is on track and you have some breathing room.

i've observed many people in my life that live this way almost all of the time. and i have always admired every single person that i see is like this.

all that to say, i am somewhat proud of how i have planned for you to arrive. i could have done a MUCH better job at preparing for your arrival. and had i, there would not be a few last minute things hanging over my head as your due date looms just around the corner... things that i find it difficult to do at this late stage, as i am uncomfortably large and having a difficult time just moving around.

but even with those things, i feel quite adequately prepared. and i know that God helped me with all of that, because let me tell you, it was not easy. there were many reasons for that. i had to be creative in many of the ways that i got ready for you... if money was no object, there would have been no need for creativity. i had plenty of time. but when money does not flow freely {or even sort of freely}, but rather trickles in, one has to find creative ways to get ready. and i did just that. and not only that, but your papa and i put our heads together and figured out just where we could cut back... not cut corners... just cut back.

when you plan for big events... babies arriving or marrying someone or buying a home or going off to college... or even smaller things like going on a trip... there is so much that this world will tell you you need to have/do/achieve in order for it to be the ideal birth, wedding, house purchase, education or vacation.

but so much of what this world would have you believe is necessary is actually quite unnecessary. and i can honestly say, it takes work to figure out what those things are for a growing family... especially when you have never had a child before.

anyway, though i am sure your papa and i have not perfectly set up our little nest and life for you to be in it, we have done the very best that we can. you are going to get home, and we are going to realize that there are things we will need to go get or set up for you. and we will probably discover that we set some things up that were never actually needed. but for the most part, we feel prepared and ready for you to join our little home. not just prepared, but EXCITED!

anyway, i just don't want you to forget this little fable... it's okay to be the one working and planning early on for things big and small... even when everyone else around you is waiting because they want to enjoy life first and get to work later. we live in a society that thrives on instant gratification. but remember this. delayed gratification is just as satisfying as the instant can be... only it's arriving at a different time. and when hard work and planning are a part of that gratifying experience, it's that much more rewarding.

here is what solomon said about the ant in proverbs 6:6-8...
"go to the ant, o sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest."
that solomon... he was a very wise man. and his words should be heeded and observed. even if no one is telling you to work hard and prepare for things in a timely way, do it anyway... for yourself... for your own good. when you do, you can't go wrong and you won't be sorry. this is my prayer for you. and my prayer for me is that i exemplify that in my life for you.

all that said, i can't wait to see you and, in a couple weeks, bring you to your new home... sans kitchen ants.

with all my love,
your mama


A said...

I was starting to wonder if you had delivered yet ;) but I see you are still awaiting the day!

You post today reminded me of a post I saw on another blog (maybe you follow this blogger - she's extremely creative and inspiring) but I thought I'd share it with you, in case you haven't seen it yet.


beth said...

how lucky is baby b to have these notes/messages already written to him.....VERY !

Jessie said...

Lovely post mama. Next time the ants come try putting a shallow bowl of borax and sugar. They bring it back and it kills the queen. It takes longer than the poison but it is what we use for the pesky little black things. Take care!~

spread your wings said...

wonderful post. your baby is very lucky to have you as a mom.

it's funny that i read it on this day - a guy at work just walked by and said "there are ants all over my desk!".

georgia b. said...

thank you, all.

thanks for the link, alicia. i had seen that commercial before and it did remind me of my posts to baby-b. i started those last october when i found out i was pregnant, and i'm so glad i did. i tried to tag/label each one so that some day, i can just pull them whole group of them up for this kiddo.

thanks for the tip, jessie!

lesley... yuck! ants in the home are bad enough. i would be so miffed to find them at work as well. we did have them at my last job... because of all the snackers who liked to eat at their desks... like me. =)... better than mice, i guess.

hierbinichdasprinzesschen said...

that is a realy cool picture, congrats ;-)

Jenny Schouten Short said...

Georgia, I hope you print your blog into a book, www.blurb.com is my favorite publisher to make mine. You can read and reread the stories you've written to your child. Thinking of you :) Jenny