Here we are! Life on the other side of 3 children. So far, we are all alive and well regardless of the fact that we are living moment to moment. At least I am! I’ve been trying to write this post for the past 11 weeks. That’s how old our new darling Baby J is. No surprise that I haven’t quite been able to put my thoughts into a post, right? Let’s be real: I’m actually so glad I am showered, fed, and dressed. That in itself is an accomplishment these days!
This new little bundle has brought us so much joy. Those sweet baby snuggles are as glorious as I remembered them to be. And the gummy smiles? I had forgotten how beautiful it makes me feel when that sweet smile spreads across his face and he recognizes that it’s me. “Oh man,” he seems to say. “You’re my mom.” I might as well be walking the red carpet in a designer dress and fabulous jewels. He makes me feel that good. The sibling interaction has been so tender and so heartwarming. When we first brought Baby J home from the hospital, M would pull up a chair next to his bassinet and watch over him while he slept. The sight of her pushing that chair all the way from the playroom into our room and assertively positioning herself right next to him made my heart burst. The responsibility she felt in those moments was profound. She must have intuitively known that he needed her. These days she still gets the best smiles, and the two seem to have a precious connection. She’s constantly reporting his needs to me. “Mommy, J is hungry. Mommy, J is hungry again. Mommy, I think J is hungry again.” Story of my life if there ever was one these days. And my sweet little W, who I swear is still my baby, melts my heart when he holds out his little arms and says “Can I hooooooooold him?” He’s great at tickling his toes, and the other night even got a book out to read to his little brother. He got through the first page, and then said sadly to my husband, “I don’t know how to read the rest.” He continues to refresh me with his tender simplicity. His best talent these days, however, is playing with his trucks and cars around (not on) his baby brother. He’s developed some mad skills around this squeaking obstacle.
As for me, these have been the hardest 11 weeks of my life. My heart has deepened in a way I never knew was possible, and I have also been stretched to a point I didn’t know existed. Because of that, I have had to accept a lot of help from friends, family, strangers, anyone! Prior to 3 children, I was very much an “I’ve got it” mom. And for the most part I really did. Now? Not so much. I need all the help I can get whether I like it or not. Several years ago when I was recovering from a miscarriage, a very dear friend of mine told me that people want to help, that it makes people feel good to help, and that my job was to let them. I have called on that lesson during these past 11 weeks, and through that vulnerability have emerged some of the greatest blessings. One of our neighbors, who has quickly become a precious friend and confidante, arrives at my doorstep every Wednesday afternoon. Her children are much older, and she is a light at the end of my tunnel these days. She brings me clarity, wisdom, and keeps things very much in perspective. Believe it or not, it wasn’t easy for me to say yes when she offered to do this every week. I know how busy her life is, didn’t want to infringe on her days, worried it would be too much, etc. I needed the help though, so I let it in, and the most wonderful friendship was born. I find myself living for Wednesdays now because my time with her brings me so much joy. Blessings have also arrived in the form of another neighbor who texts just to ask if she can come hold the baby (um yes please!), a friend who dropped dinner by, my mother-in-law popping in at just the right time, my mom showing up with coffee on a rainy morning, my sister-in-law doing carpool, and my husband picking up extra slack and noticing/taking care of things he hadn’t before. Everyone has come together around me and around this baby. As a former “I’ve got it” mom, it hasn’t always been easy to let all of this in, but I am so glad that I have.
So, off we go, this little family of 5. If these past 11 weeks have taught me anything, it’s that we are not making our way through this world alone. My heart has deepened, and my soul is grateful for this child, for this family, and for everyone who is pushing us along.
Find the joy~