My little pumpkin is 16 months old; I’m under the two-week mark for the delivery of our second baby, and I haven’t blogged in three months. Thank God for M.E.A. break and these two days off school.
There is a stirring in my soul that matches the rustle in the leaves, in the wind, in my heart. I am excited and thrilling with emotion. I watch the weather for clues. I watch my baby, my husband, my body. My belly is not as big as I think it should be, as I imagined it would be. How much more do you have to grow, little one? I make eye contact with my dogs – the older one understands me – he can tell something is brewing; the younger one has no clue, so he wags his tail anxiously, as his tongue lolls about and pants.
I notice our house: it is messy, lived in. There are dog blankets dragged in from the back hall – surely they were used as a communication tool when we neglected to feed the hounds on time last night (every night) – lying next to a child’s toy; there’s an audio mixer & high definition head phones next to the speakers – proof that my husband is living his dream as the DJ for the Junior High School dances; there are stacks of books, DVDs, CDs, and remotes piled high on the kitchen counter – daily reminders that Dylan can now walk and reach for anything and everything that is officially not a toy. The microwave smells like hazelnut coffee; the counters like banana bread. Our stairs still contain remnants of Josh’s leather shoes – Moose’s latest feast. And the wind blows steadily through the open window, despite our thermostat pumping away to keep the house a toasty 70 degrees (my Dad would be asking if I’m trying to heat the whole outside…). But there’s something about the mash of it all that I love. The visual to-do list that I stare at, with my feet up, coffee in-hand, makes me feel calm and settled and expectant. I know Josh will do it all when he gets home from football practice (I think I’m at the stage in my pregnancy now where I can just sigh heavily enough for him to get the clue…), so the mess allows me to be quiet, observant, and patient as I take in the comfort of my home. I’d put on some music, but I don’t mind the stillness; I know it is fleeting.
I wonder what this new baby will bring, how he or she will change our lives and turn our little family of three into a family of four. I can’t wait to meet this little one, to kiss newborn cheeks and nose and eyes, and to hear its little wimper-breaths and sucking noises. What will we name him? or her? How will Dylan react? How will he cope with sharing me? How will I go back to waking every couple of hours and pumping around the clock? When do I grow my new set of arms? All of this, I know, will come to pass, and we will simply re-adjust like families around the world have done since the beginning of time (most with far more adversity than I will ever have to face), but still, it seems a bit daunting. If I think about it too much, I start to feel this nervous energy build; it rises from my belly, creeps up my chest, and suddenly, I have the urge to start tearing off my clothes because I’m too hot and panicked. So I just push it away. Stand up. Inhale my arms over my head, clasp my hands, take a full-body stretch to the left, full-body stretch to the right. Exhale my arms down to my sides and walk it out. Pour another cup of coffee. Slice another piece of bread, slather it with creamy butter, and content myself within the pages of someone else’s world. I will read until Dylan wakes up and brings me back to my reality of being a mama. He reminds me that parenting, like reading, takes focused concentration and energy, but is always an adventure worth pursuing, and one I love very much. I can’t wait to see what this new chapter will bring.