Sunday, November 13, 2011

Four of us

We all sit on the king-sized mattress, on top of a soft, fluffy mound of blankets and pillows.

Tasha won't be left alone to sleep in her crib because she wants to be held. And so I hold her, gladly, knowing these days pass so fast and can it just stay like this forever?

She is propped between my legs and Noelle cuddles up against my side. Daddy brings a book and we, the four of us, read our bedtime story together. It's such a party. A sleepover.

It's so much fun that I don't want to stop with just one story. And usually it's Noelle who wants more than one book at bedtime. This time it's me.

But Kevin knows better - it's late for Noelle and for us, too. We were up until almost dawn with the newborn, but somehow the lack of sleep doesn't feel too bad.

The house is a lot noisier, too, with sounds of nonsensical chatter and singsong whimsy and baby's crying. Yesterday the walking and talking girl was climbing the stair rails yelling, "I'm trying to be a monkey! I'm trying to be a monkey!" while her father gritted his teeth and flared his nostrils with anxiety about her falling.

I am pretty much head over heels for my new little girl. She's the quiet one who just murmurs and nurses and breathes softly like a bird.

There is so much fat and marrow in these days. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; these days He has given and given and given. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Child of my Womb

I sit beside her miniature bed.

I am a big, pregnant lady - belly swollen and skin stretched impossibly taut - sitting on a laughably small, white chair. There's a weight limit on that chair, but it's always held me for these nine months of weight gain, so I continue to sit next to her as she drifts off into sleep.

She likes her back to be scratched as she drifts. So I scratch it for her.

Her skin feels as thin as a balloon and underneath it are delicate bones. Like once when I felt a toy Yorkie and its quick, shallow breaths felt so fragile underneath the bones and soft fur as breakable as a hamster's.

Asleep now, her breaths are deeper and restful and slower. Her eyelids are shut together as softly as petals on her cheeks and I wonder where is she now? Somewhere I cannot follow, somewhere God takes her, takes all of us individually when we sleep.

She came from inside me - deep down in the dark unseen - her head once wedged between my pelvis, murky waters cushioning ears and eyes from sound and light. Somehow God put her together: she has skin, hair, miraculous eyes, impossible brain so intricate, ten fingers and ten toes. And she can laugh like I've never heard a person laugh before.

She started a baby with meconium poop from all the months inside my womb, and now she walks upright in the world and talks to us and when she sees me tired she says, "Mama, you lay down to sleep awhile." O, Child, when did you become so compassionate?

It's a brief time He's given to me with this child. I feel it falling out of my cupped hands like sand through the fingers. And I am reluctant to let it go.

These Days

My heart is quiet these days.

I am thankful that this baby has reached almost 40 weeks.

That is God's goodness.

I am very curious the cup awaiting me to drink. What will labor be like this time? God knows. Long or short, painful or mild. He has a cup prepared for me to drink, when the time is right.

I am looking forward to meeting our new little one, nursing her, changing her diaper and marveling at what a miracle has been wrought in the womb. These nine months of dark mystery will sprout up into a flower.

Meanwhile our oldest has blossomed into a flower all her own. She's a little personality so sweet and real as any person walking this earth. Suddenly she's been insisting that she absolutely will not wear pants - she wants to wear skirts and dresses. And she prefers pink or purple to any other color. "I don't like black," she says.

She is also very unlike the rotten child that I was when I was her age. Whereas I used to hoard all my food, she shares even her most favorite and prized snacks with me and her dad and anyone else who is close with her. She is marked by a very peculiar generosity and trust in those around her.

She has remarked before that she would like to share a bed with her baby sister. I imagine this would be a sweet arrangement once they're both a bit older...