As two giggling boys wrestle under spring sun in the grass just a few feet away from my own feet, I swallow the hardest question I've asked myself in quite some time.
Could I love another him?
And that question -- it sits unsettled in my stomach like I've eaten rocks for breakfast, and my body is trying its hardest to digest, make some sense of what's been swallowed.
Heavy with discomfort, acceptance comes as I whisper aloud what's been circling in my mind, sitting in the pit of my gut, weighing me down:
Would I, instead of soaking up a moment like the very one I'm watching unfold, be disappointed if three years from now a third boy was rumbling around in the grass with his brothers?
Would I welcome watching my stomach stretch and swell if I knew for sure I'd be housing another baby boy?
Would I, complete with joy and thanksgiving, welcome the sounds of a tiny baby boy seeking a mid-night nursing session in the same way I would that of a baby girl?
Because my fingers long to sweep through the thick, long dark hair of a daughter.
And my eyes can almost see two big brothers learning to be the very men God created them to be through engaging daily with a sister.
Because my heart so very much wants to tether its strings to that of my very own little girl's.
And my ears can almost hear my husband's gentle but strong voice whispering in her ear that she's a prize for which to be fought.
So with thoughts of a daughter, a sister for my boys, so deeply embedded in my mind, so rooted in the garden of my wildly tangled heart, I cannot neglect to really swallow such a hard, solid question and examine the why behind the third-baby dreams before we make them reality.
But there's no clarity in that moment.
Though I want desperately to say that I'd be just as happy to discover another baby boy blooming inside my own body and that health was the most important thing, I can't.
It stings my heart that I could be so ... I don't even know.
But it stings, nonetheless.
There are weeks of wondering, wrestling myself, crying out to God to search my heart and know it, to give me peace about moving into the journey of adding another little life into our family if my heart wouldn't suddenly drop at the news of a third little boy.
I want to know, like I knew with both of my other boys before I ever knew they were boys, that my heart won't sink, even a tiny millimeter, should a daughter not be part of our family picture through what will likely be our last pregnancy.
I know I need to make peace, and I don't know where to begin.
Another wrestling session is unfolding before my eyes, this time of the living room floor with John as the referee.
Pretend swords and battle axes become part of the play, and before I know it, my oldest is talking about making my youngest, who is playing the unjust king, walk the plank among facing other punishments.
I love, love, love my boys with all of my heart, but when they start talking about pooping on faces as part of the consequences the testosterone in our confined corridors elevates beyond my preferred-exposure level.
I bid them goodbye and for two seconds they turn their lips toward my own offering the sweetest kisses and showering my with a bit of affection before I fly out the front door seeking silence and a bit of time to clear my head.
I walk through chilly air with warm sunshine bathing my face and ponder the ways of these boys of mine.
I recall their poop talk, their delight in conversing about the grossest of gross things.
Their wildness streaked with small moments of gentle grace.
Their warrior hearts laced with desire for justice and righteousness.
Their quests for battlegrounds that are worthy of their time and efforts, a fight worth fighting, never settling on chasing windmills.
Their efforts to comfort the unjustly wounded, rescue the princess and capture the bad guy.
All things I don't totally understand, but all things, when unfolded and laid out on the table, I love and respect and need.
All things that have drawn me to John, beckoned me to fall into his strong arms and trust his leading.
I ponder it all in my heart.
And I know almost instantly that I've given a chance to help make a mark on these boys for a reason: because I know a strong and loving and firm and compassionate and just King.
And I can introduce my little warriors to a King worthy of their service.
This mothering gig is not simply for my enjoyment; it's for gifting the world with men who serve in their leadership, for preparing them to serve the Prince of Peace and even for helping develop them into men who will love and respect and protect daughters of mothers I may not yet even know ...
Finally, they are digested fully, those rocks.
And I can honestly say that should we decide to add to our family my heart won't dip even a bit upon welcoming a third baby boy someday because it will be too busy soaring with hope for the man I pray he would become.
Link your own moment at Sarah's.