Monday, March 21, 2011

Thinking, that's all: Two and maybe three

"You know, dad, I think it's time for mommy to start growing another baby in her belly," G. announced loudly Saturday morning while building colorful Duplo towers in the living room.

Surprised, John asked G. why he thought that, to which G. responded because he wanted {five! yes, five!} brothers and sisters, more kids with whom he could play.

We giggled along with our smiling oldest as he mused about what life with five siblings would be like -- more sharing, more play, more chatter.

I thought my stomach would be stretched and swollen by now, newly pregnant with a third baby due just in time for the thickness of summer to give way to the cool of early fall.

But here we are, later that same Saturday evening, still talking about it.

Whereas the conversation a few months ago centered around when, it now features the word if.

I'm shocked at my change in words, really; the very day after E was born and I'd already fallen completely, wholly in love with him, I heard an undeniable whisper in my heart about how we've yet to meet another small soul, how we've yet to cradle another tiny head in the crooks of our arms.

And I still feel that pull, hear that whisper.

But it's being drown out with the noise of reality {which Melissa so eloquently describes here} and doubt: We barely have the energy to care for two on their most demanding days.

And sometimes we merely utter I love you to each other before sinking steadily into our mattress, eyelids heavy with exhaustion from a full day's work.

How do you choose which voice wins the battle between the heart and mind? Both are so very loud, so very hard to tuck under the covers and silence at night.

That night, I dream vivid dreams of childbirth followed closely by sweet newborn snuggles, respite from the heavy labor and delivery that proceeded the calm.

In my dream, John's strong hands gentle swaddle a small body for the first time, tears of awe welling in his eyes as he brings a new baby into the safety of his daddy arms.

My boys, a little older, a little taller sit at the edge of our bed, quietly watching, absorbing the weight of love.

There are no words. Everyone is silent. I don't know the baby's name or gender. I only know the absolute heaviness of joy soaking, saturating the room, our souls.


The heat of temper tantrums flame hot Sunday afternoon; we've been stuck inside the house after church as the sky thunders, streaks with zigzags of lightening.

During those moments of intensity, with both children raging like the storms outside, my heart fills with doubt.

Could we survive adding a third set of wailing lungs? Live through another few years of restless nights? Handle more questions and more demands on our attention?

I remember the weight of love from my dream last night, still heavy in my mind, sticking to me like the thickness of humid August air.

And I wonder if I've been asking the wrong questions.

Maybe instead of asking if we could live through three I should be asking if we could not.

{This post is linked with My Three Little Birds' News from Your Nest.}