I’m coming rusty out the writing gate, and I can’t even promise consistency. That is the one and only disclaimer I’m permitting myself on this post. The past year I’ve been living ‘going Dutch’ rather than writing it. It’s been the season of life/over/reflection. Practical everyday blowing of noses and lumbering up the stairs with baskets of laundry to fold and put away; lunches to make, dishes to do, tiny high-pitched questions to be answered. Attention to be given. Eyes to be looked into, eyes filled with worry or wonder, or purely inquisitive. Eyes and their expressions I love so dearly.
I am mothering a little Sponge. She asks for and absorbs everything I have to give her so quickly. I wonder, what will life be like as a family of four? Much of my day is spent wringing myself out for her, to nourish her mind and heart, to walk her through complexities she feels but doesn’t yet understand.
Friends of mine expecting (or just given birth to!) their second babies wonder along with me, how is this done with two? How does love divide and multiply at the same time? Mothers with two or more knowingly smile (probably ruefully remembering the stress, sweat, and tantrums as well as the finer times of sibling sweetness) and reassure us all. They also unnerve me with their laughter at this question. But what will happen to our happy part of three? Will I continue to have enough for our Sponge?
Probably, as is true with many things in life, you just do it. And the other wise adage: Everything worthy and good in life calls for sacrificial giving. Things nice to know, but in order to become part of us need to be lived.
Ann Lamott wore recently on her Instagram, Motherhood is not a demand to be perfect but a call to come closer.
I need to get that tattooed somewhere. ‘Motherhood’ can also be replaced by ‘friendship’ or ‘marriage’ or so many aspects that involve relationship, but for now I will hold onto this truth for this particular aspect of myself as we move from a party of three to a party of four.
Since I came upon these words that hit with a ‘ping’ the bullseye in my heart, I’ve tried to relax, enjoy, and come closer to Estella. I will miss our adventures together, just the two of us. But they will return. Our relationship will change, but we will adventure on together. After she gets used to the idea that a baby will be attached to Mama like an appendage. After she accepts that I love her the same, but have to show her in different ways. After she discovers space in her own heart for this new baby.
As I write, the baby moves fitfully. He is getting bigger (pronoun chosen for simplicity’s sake…we’re keeping the gender a surprise) and harder…I can feel his tiny knees or head or bum testing the boundaries of his world. I read that the baby can hear, see bright objects through his new lashes, be startled by noises. It blows my mind that over 1,000 women per year in the US choose to terminate their pregnancies after carrying their babies for 24 weeks. Babies that startle, that blink back light. Talk about silencing the voiceless. It makes me mad. It is good for no one; no one wins. In the 28th week of pregnancy, 12 to go, you become more aware than ever of an impending personhood.
Can’t wait to meet this little person. Little one, I’m already enjoying you: your movements and rhythms, imagining who you are. You are so welcome. I promise to ‘come close’ and be patient as we learn who you are together.