When we started to think earnestly about having another kid, Eider was 5 and Maple was 8 and I was nervous about the big spread in ages. Flash forward 5 years to when this 3rd seems to finally be on the way and I couldn’t be more optimistic about this big spread. And who knows how it will really be when it leaves the realm of fantasy and the 4 of us suddenly have a baby in our arms, but it does seem pretty sweet right now and I feel more than a little lucky that our kids are eager about the arrival of their new little person.
Perhaps it has a lot to do with how much I am really into the 3 and under crowd and that has rubbed off on them, or maybe I really did just get lucky. Maple has had her red cross babysitting certificate since the fall she was 11 and has been the neighborhood sitter ever since. She is constantly showing me things she thinks we should have for our babe and has even informed me that she would very much like to have her own baby carrier.
But it goes beyond that. She is bearing witness to something that a lot of kids her age don’t experience. And actually, I hadn’t really even considered it until she called my attention to it. I was in the bathroom the other evening oiling up my growing belly- side note: with my friend Rachels’s Belly Balm that I used when I was expecting Eider as well, the shit is that good- when Moo wandered in to chat with me, which she often does. We are an open door family and the late evening is such a soft time to connect with my growing teen.
At first it was just chatter, something along the lines of how her body is really a mix of her dad’d body and mine. She kinda pointed to my fleshy side and was like: see? I don’t have that… I reminded her that I don’t usually have that either but that I am building up fat for my future milk supply. At which point she changed gears completely and said: It is so amazing that I get to see my mom go through something so vulnerable. Not many kids my age get to see their mom like this and it feels so special to me…
And well, maybe it’s just the hormones but I am tearing up just writing it down now. Her insight and attention just keeps on blowing me away. I love that she is aware of the ways I am exposed with her. Tender, raw and, yes, vulnerable. It feels in a way like a bit of a pay off. All of the years that Chris and I have tried to be open and revealed with our kids while at the same time still shielding them where appropriate. She sees me. And sure, not always. She is still occasionally a belligerent teen. But she is often present for me in ways that I could have never anticipated and as we make this big journey together as a family, I could not be more grateful for her.
That’s all. I just wanted to share what I am seeing right now. It looks so good from here.