Like pennies in a little wishing well

22 05 2014

A moment of reflection for —- (our soon-to-be youngest child, who has had a name since we found out she’s a “she,” although we’re still trying to keep it off the internet, just in the interest of not-jinxing-anything…)

Littlest daughter,

here are the things I give you, have given you, am giving you, as our months as one creature swell towards their inevitable bloody, dramatic, bittersweet (as happened with your sister, I will both begin to really gain you and begin to lose you, both at once) conclusion:

sips of sweet hot-tea, made by Daddy before he leaves for work every morning, and bites of avocado, strawberry, spinach leaves, catfish enchilada, chicken burrito, sharp cheddar, creamy cottage cheese, greek yogurt, Gannon’s ice-cream, sweet carrot, sour lime, and the festive dances of as many curries as Mummy’s heartburn can bear

pats, pokes, sleepy-nursing-caresses, and lots and lots of kisses from your sister, planted on my swollen belly, which she requests to see many times a day, which she shows people when they ask her where the baby is, and which she calls “Mama butt,” because “butt” is short for “belly button”

hugs and kisses from your brother, who wants to feel you kick but always aims too high, and ends up feeling my stomach for curry-digesting bubbles instead (we’re working on the anatomy lessons, but it’s a challenge, because his mother doesn’t want me to be too specific)

an ocean’s worth of rocking, as we go on long, hilly neighborhood walks, hike the zoo circuit, and trek to playgroups with your sister in her stroller, weave our way through grocery stores, loop around the pond, playground, and downstairs, and climb-and-descend the stairs a thousand times a day

Here are the things I will be blessed to give/won’t be able to help giving you, in the months to come, after you stun us with whatever mode of arrival suits you best:

divided time, the likes of which your sister never knew or had to suffer through

your sister’s love and energy and attention, the likes of which she never had the opportunity to enjoy

the sparkling uplift of your brother’s several-times-a-month arrivals, which were the highlight of her babyhood–but who knows what yours will be

hand-me-down clothes and toys by the barrel-full (don’t worry–that’s what the older two have always had as well)

endless walking circuits around our little house as next winter closes in–and long, hilly neighborhood walks that you can actually look around on and learn to partake of when it finally pulls back again

dances with Daddy around the living room–lots and lots and lots of them, probably a good number shared with your sister, once you’re big enough to safely hold one-handed–to all of his favorite music, loud enough to breathe rhythm (and a likely love of 80s music) into your tiny bones

a growing community of neighborhood friends and babysitters–some of whom you’ll probably be gladder of than others–to welcome you, entertain you, teach you your first lessons in “play,” and keep you safe while Mummy’s working

loving arms–mine, Daddy’s, Caleb’s, our neighborhood friends-families’, your extended family’s, and of course Evanny’s, although I’m guessing from her tendency to wiggle that hers will do more tandem-hugging than holding on their own

And here are the things I hope will grace your life with us, in those coming months and the years and years thereafter:

a more peaceful toddlerhood than either of your siblings was blessed with, at least in terms of parental preparedness and zen

a beautiful, lifelong sister-bond (the likes of which your mummy always wanted for herself) that includes the sharing of secrets you never tell me

an equal helping of the independence and fearless zest for life your sister came into the world waving like a loud, loud banner

your brother’s deep and abiding sweetness (it’s too early in her linguistic life to tell if your sister has it too, although she shows some promising signs)

your very own way of showing, seeking, and inhabiting the above

lots and lots and lots of snuggles, kisses, hugs, and laughter

berries and vegetables to pop into your mouth warm from our (struggling, little, but hopeful) garden

music and dancing–in whatever style and format call to you

talents and passions I could never predict

inspiring teachers, loyal friends, and the occasional random and seemingly unprovoked enemy (the vagaries of these help thicken the skin and strengthen the bonds that actually matter)

dirt to dig in, fountains to splash in, snow to build with (I think that one I can guarantee), trees to climb, vistas to gaze upon, oceans to bathe in, stars to be dazzled by, words to whisper, & thunder to holler back to

fireflies

a practical appreciation for things bought used, re-used, shared, handmade, and borrowed

and an everlasting sense of warmth and goodness when anyone asks you to think of the words “family” or “home.”

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