“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”
Too many times to count, I have accidentally woken my daughter because I like to watch her sleep.
And she is a light sleeper. One creak of the century-old floors and she stirs.
I have never learned my lesson.
When she was a baby, my check-ins were like a compulsion fueled by nerves and the settling of a very heavy love across my heart.
Getting her back to sleep was a slow process then, as it is now. My precious few minutes of uninterrupted time interrupted by my own anxiety and addiction.
I am addicted to her sweetness. To Giovanna in still life, my daughter at rest, her skin shining with fleeting purity. Perfect innocence eventually and inevitably covered by years on this planet.
By the grace of the universe, I am going to have another baby soon. A delicate and helpless creature sent from the heavens. The ultimate responsibility and joy. The reality of it squeezes my heart and sometimes my throat.
I’ve spent the last several months preparing. Today I am less than six weeks from my due date. I have entered the homestretch of pregnancy. The intensity mounts along with the downward pressure of a tiny human rooting herself into this earth.
I can feel her. A person living between my heart and my pelvis. She elbows me in the hips and kicks me in the ribs and wedges herself into awkward positions, small but sturdy bones prodding my side body. Bones knit from my own flesh and blood.
She rests in water, folded and floating. She fills me with warmth, with the truth of who I am and the miracles happening within me, the miracles happening every day.
I wonder how I will be with this next one. Will I be so desperate for a break that I will let her sleep? Will I chill out and trust in the universe? Will I have as much energy as I did with my first? If I don’t have the energy, will I look until I find it?
I can feel my heart expanding. Exploding. Life growing, family growing, love growing.
The best part? My people, my husband and my stepson and my daughter, could not be more excited. And it makes me feel good and special that our baby lives within the context of my body. That they tickle my belly when they want to tickle the baby and they kiss me when they want to kiss her.
Oh, Motherhood. My challenge, my privilege. You’re about to change my life again. Bring it on.