When

He’s calling me “sister” now. At random times throughout the day. He’ll walk into the kitchen while I’m cooking dinner or washing dishes and shout “hey sistor!” in his mini voice that I told James we need to record. I don’t ever want to forget the tininess in his voice. I laugh and play along with him, calling him brother, running into the living room chasing him.

Or when we’re in the car and he says softly, ” I wish someone was back here. They can sit right there” and points over to the empty seat next to him. I almost want to ask him who will sit there, but I’m worried that he’ll respond with a brother or sister and so I selfishly keep quiet.

I watched him with his baby cousin a few weeks ago. Asking to hold her. Talking into her face, making his voice sound even higher than it already is, thinking that’s the right way to appeal to babies. He asked to feed her, putting her bottle into her mouth and carefully tipping it back. He laughed when she sneezed. He really laughed when she talked in that baby talk that I almost forgot. The babbling and the driveling with spit and slobber. It wasn’t until I saw it up close that I realized I missed it, and that I realized Finn will be a great big brother.

But when? We’ve tried not to rush, relishing in the time that belongs to just the three of us. Bike rides into the evening sun, the three of us. Camping in tents and pop-ups, the three of us. Boat rides and road trips, vacations and adventures, the three of us. Finn just now reaching a point of new self independence, of becoming this little person filled with opinions and notion. James and I sat the other night in our backyard as we watched him running and playing on his own. He is needing us less. He’s sleeping through the night. He’s spending some evenings with his grandparents allowing more date nights for me and James. We’ve had two and a half years with this special boy and us. Just the three of us, growing and learning and I wouldn’t have changed or tried to rearrange one second. We’ve gotten to put our energy into our son. And our marriage. And our new life the three of us. And really, really enjoying it.

And now the time has come when I spot a pregnant woman at the grocery store and can’t take my eyes off her belly. The way her hands graze her stomach, the way my hands were always finding my belly when Finn was inside.

Or when we’re at the park and I notice a mom with two. The way she’s pushing the older one on the swing, while holding a baby on her hip. And then grabbing puffies out of her overflowing diaper bag, while keeping one eye on her toddler about to run down the slide. Am I ready for that? Are we ever ready?

I think of growing up with three brothers surrounding me. I was four when my parents had their youngest. I remember them bringing him home. Telling me to sit on their bed, the August sun shining through their window. I was wearing a blue and white sailor outfit. They placed my little brother in my arms and my mouth fell open. This new baby doll. Still today, my baby brother, my best friend.

I write things down so I’ll remember. The months of Finn, the milestones. His first crawl across my parents kitchen floor. His first steps a couple weeks before his first birthday. The first pedaling on his tricycle in the June heat, his hair sticky with sweat. I have them written down. Words that fall off my pen and onto the page so I won’t forget. But I find myself wanting to relive it all. I want it all back. Every blessed part.

We have to try.

 

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1 Response

  • this was beautiful carly and im in the exact same place with my 2.5 year old noah, except that im doing it in south korea. with just the three of us and no family close by, its scary to think of a baby again and how vulnerable i felt with a newborn. the idea of him sharing me with a sibling also worries me, but as you said, they’re more independent at this age, playing alone sometimes, cleaning up after themselves, learning how to use the potty and yes! sleeping through the night!

    but i want the baby-ness back. and yes, we have to try. so the “protection” has been put away and if it happens, it happens:)

    all the best to you and thanks for bringing tears to my eyes and making me feel less alone.

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