Today, a guest post from an extraordinarily gifted writer.
Galit at These Little Waves is beloved in the blogging community not just because of her gift for stringing words together so that they float like poetry in your head but because of the generosity and kindness she shows other writers.
I am so thrilled to share some of her magic with you today. And even more thrilled to count Galit as a friend.
When I was pregnant, I held both of my hands splayed on my belly, fingertips touching, like I was protecting what was on the inside, and keeping everything in its place. Which I suppose, I was.
I’d sit and walk and hurry in this way.
That morning was no different.
I tottered and teetered and maneuvered my way down the stairs, holding onto my belly -my baby- and feeling my husband Jason’s eyes bore into my back with his usual, “You could hold onto the railing, you know.”
He was carrying my just packed bags, my friend Lori had just arrived to watch our girls, and Jason and I were on our way to the hospital to have our third baby, Brody.
I knelt down to squeeze my girls good bye, earning another eye roll from my friend and my husband. “How are you going to get back up?” They teased.
My oldest Kayli, at four and a half, had been through this before. She melted into me and I breathed in her small arms and soft hair and serious eyes. “I’ll call you by lunchtime.” I promised.
(And for the record, I did. I was holding Brody by noon – feeding him and eating my own lunch and talking to Kayli on the phone all at the same time. I’m still proud of that multi-tasking that I rarely manage today.)
All three of my children were induced well past their due dates. And while I never had that exciting “It’s time!” rush, I did get to plan for babysitters and timing and promises.
Lori laced her fingers with Kayli, drawing her close, helping her say good bye.
Two and a half year old Chloe smoothly took her place in my arms.
Oh, she was so small then! Her tiny face pressed into my neck as I whispered, “I love you. I’ll see you this soon.” Placing my thumb and forefinger a titch apart; my promise that this soon was really soon.
Lori reached for Chloe too, and Jason helped me up off of the floor, wisely not commenting on my inability to do so myself. And just like that, we turned to leave.
Years before, when we got our marriage license, it was also "just like that" moment.
“Sign here, sweetheart.” The clerk behind the window said. Her eyes down, her voice even. I burst out laughing at the lack of formality and big-deal-ness of it then, and felt the exact same way leaving for the hospital to have a baby now.
When Jason and I were in the doorway – betwixt and between staying and leaving, a family of four and a family of five – Chloe toddled back to me.
She pressed herself close and wrapped her arms around my belly. My own arms were already there, and together we made a braid of arms and mess and love, which is exactly how I would describe our family today.
She pressed her lips close to my belly and whispered something to Brody.
I don't know what she said, they weren't my words to hear.
But when she finished, she met my eyes, smiled, and scrunched her pudgy fingers in good bye, releasing us from the doorway, and that betwixt and between.
And that that was when my laughter came.
Because yes, adding onto our family made our love infinitely messy.
But what Jason and I truly did, was gift our children each other – whispers and braids and giggles and all.
So sweet Angie, welcome to your lovely third baby. I know that perfectly messy is going to look beautiful on all of you.
Galit, lovely Galit. For this and more, thank you. xx