I used to hate wearing hand-me-downs.
When my mom would show me a piece of clothing, or furniture, she was given by someone else, I'd often snub my nose at it, as if I was better than using something previously owned by someone else.
When I had the money to buy my own clothes, I began to have more expensive tastes than I probably should have had.
There were times, of course, when money issues left me without an option, but to suck it up and take what had been offered to me.
Over the last few months, however, I've developed a new appreciation for such gifts. The most glaring examples of this can be seen in the room which my wife and I are devoting to our soon-to-arrive little girl.
I was thinking about this one day, when I came home from work. I had found my wife sitting in the rocking chair in the baby's room, and she was crying.
At first, I wondered whether I had done something wrong. She then began to tell me how bad she had felt, for not expressing enough gratitude for all the blessings we have been given, since we found out about the baby.
In one corner, there's a chest of drawers my mother recently found online. It will be filled with a plethora of baby clothes, including many which were given to us by friends whose children have grown out of them.
The room also contains a used dresser and the aforementioned rocking chair. Even the stuffed animals we have waiting for our daughter, were given to us by someone else.
Yes, the baby's crib is new, but it was a gift from my mother-in-law. As I write this, I'm struggling to think of anything in the baby's room that was actually bought by my wife, or me.
My response to these hand-me-downs, however, isn't what it used to be.
Instead of considering myself too good to make use of a baby toy, or outfit we are given, I feel tremendously blessed by the generosity and love, which has been directed to us, and our baby.
So many people have come out of the proverbial woodwork, to support us as we walk through this beautiful journey of expectant parenthood.
One of the most beautiful parts of bringing this baby in the world, to me, is knowing how many people love us and are walking with us, as shown by their generosity.
That kind of gift is something I can't wait to hand down to my little girl.
Jason A. Smith covers crime and courts for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.