I had always envisioned myself with three children. I had no idea how far apart they would be, what their genders would be or in what order they would go, but I wanted them in my heart, for a long time.
There was a time when I thought the third child would never be for me and I even wondered if he or she was something I wanted anymore. But she entered the world just as my soul somehow always knew she would, and my heart expanded yet another size.
She completed our family.
I know she did. And I am glad she did.
But then, the other day I started to question where my period was. You know, the one that comes monthly?
I had my tubes tied when K was born. There are not supposed to be any more babies from this body. But still, I wondered…. What if? What if I was meant to have another and it is truly out of my control?
The next morning I was in K’s room, while she played with her toys and the sunlight streamed into her pink-draped window. She scattered Barbies and Littlest Pet Shop and Dora’s house all over the floral rug in her room. Her gentle, little-girl voice lilted between the four walls of the space that is all her own, but where she invited me to play.
I sat in the cozy chair in her room, both of us still in our jammies, and I watched and listened to her stories between a bobble-headed kitty and Dora and Arielle “Barbie”. I looked up from my coffee mug as her finicky fingers dropped all the characters and she ran to my lap, “Put me upside down, Mommy!” she said, “Let me kiss your nose!”.
I tickled her belly, just a little and she giggled while her fine, blonde hair fell from side to side and into her eyes. In the next moment she was gone again, engrossed in her next tale of toys.
But soon her older brother appeared and he jumped into my lap, asking for a hug and saying, “I love you, Mommy.” “You have stinky breath”. “From the coffee I need to keep up with you, my buddy!”, I thought.
He lay down, over my legs, too long for his sideways position in the chair and looked up at me. I gazed back into his hazel eyes, the ones I have known for over 5 and half years, and I remembered how I nursed him many a time in that very chair. My mind drifted back to when he had the softest, fuzzy hair and chubbiest toes that dug into my opposite arm while he drank…
But the moment broke as he jumped back up to go find his big brother, some Legos or a snack. I felt my chest expand and relax with a long sigh of how that time had passed so fast. From those nursing days to the present ones of Kindergarten.
It was not long before his older brother showed up, asking me a question and at the same time I was about to ask for a hug, he came to sit on my knee. Here, my very first baby, so close to nine years, simply getting too old, too fast. I looked into his face and saw very little baby anymore. Like in a day, it just vanished.
Right now, my heart already feels the push and pull between us. His independence, versus my wanting to keep him my baby. His attitude. And mine back.
But before I could think too long on it all, the three of them were there, hugging, tackling, laughing, full of silly. All four of us somehow piling on this now way-too-small chair, me smiling so big inside and out.
My three babies, with me in the same chair where I had rocked and nursed and fed and felt the softness of their cheeks with my fingers while they drifted off to sleep. It is one of the only pieces of furniture that remains from the baby days. Almost every things else is gone.
And right then, in that moment, I felt it.
It was here.
The end. Done.