Second time around, the wonder is greater. I understand the scope of paternity now. Everything my daughter has taught me pushes me forward. My capacity has been revealed and I know I have more to give, more to feel, I am completely elastic with capability when it comes to family I will bend and not break. I can plummet lower and get back up. The sweet manipulation of a prenatal brain, I don’t remember how sleep deprivation felt but I do remember the electricity that ran through me when I fed in the tepid summer moonlight. And then waking drunkenly, stupefied by exhaustion to the sound of my husband cooing while he makes coffee. Another bolt of electricity that reminds me I am not the first nor will I be the last, that this is the most I ordinary of scenes, the everyday miracle.
And so we start again. Every congratulations is followed by a quick jibe and I smile knowingly. Not because I am ready or better or smug or brave but because I will have all three of you to throw light into the darkest corners. I don’t think of the birth but rather the moment I hand you to your sister. Will you be like her or completely yourself – that is, exactly like her. I have to pull myself down to earth constantly, I am so distracted by awe. AlI I do is dream about the two of you together – a romanticised scene saturated in love – I am amused by my own naïveté but this is what we do, what gets us through. A sibling, the greatest gift you can give your child. I think of all the times in my life I have shared the burden of family with my only brother and I am relieved that you will have each other. My children.