|a month ago...|
I sit here in my raggedy brown arm chair, knowing I don't have very long before the leg cramps kick in and I have to get up and stretch. There are only 3 short weeks until his arrival. Around me, the boys are throwing heavy quilts at each other, flirting with the line between play and violence. Their energy drains me even more than I already am after a day of chasing and cleaning and comforting and cooking.
Baby J has claimed so much space in front that kids can no longer read there, my laptop is no longer a "lap"top, and I find myself wondering just how my abdomen can get any bigger. I am groans and deep breaths and winces, and defeated referee between inner martial artist and bruised organs. There are long days and longer nights, my body gearing up for the newborn needs and demands.
The house has been purged and cleaned and rearranged, as if bringing him home to sparkle and shine will somehow convince him to sleep and sleep and approve of his new family and the 3 brothers who surely will not make this growing up thing very easy. Even with him being number 4 in 4 years, the nerves and the exhaustion grab me by surprise. The first pregnancy was the easiest, because I had no one to chase, no one to tickle and clean up after. I could nap and sit and fret over things that weren't truly fret-worthy. With each pregnancy, the demand has gotten greater, and it's true the joy has too, but the exhaustion is deep, soul deep, heart and mind whispering for silence and space and please just a little more time.
The fears creep in some days...can I really do this? Can I take care of 4 boys, 4-3-2-and-0, and do it well, not just survive but thrive? Can I keep my sanity about me, or what's left of it anyways, enough to juggle cleanliness and health and love and peace? How do I go out in public, already finding it hard to handle the stares with just 3 so close, big belly evidence of even more hard to come? All the "wow, you are one busy mama" and "busy busy," the B-word I've been called more times in the last few years than any other name, and I've been called them all.
And I try to smile, I want to explain, over the loud screams of boys tired and frustrated with their brothers and the world, "maybe...but even more, can you imagine how blessed I am? Blessed to be able to conceive so easily, to be able to bare children so uneventfully, no miscarriages, no still-births, I am overwhelmingly and undeservedly blessed. And busy is relative. When you have 3 so close, you are forced to learn to slow down and take your time and give in and give up where you held on so tightly before."
However much busier this baby will make us, it will make us even more blessed. These 3 boys with their unique to them laughs and their eyes so much like mine, their personalities growing stronger every day, I wonder at the miracle that it's even possible for another boy to be added to this beauty. It will be hard...I'm trying to prepare my mind for that incredible truth. But it's already more than I can handle. I trade yokes with Love and He restores the places devastated by weariness and anxiety and stress. I sit long at His feet and just breathe in His presence, and it fortifies this weak heart to face the gigantic mountain of motherhood.
I can do this. God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control, and I repeat that every single day. I whisper, "lead me to the Rock that is higher than I," and "Love is patient love is kind love is patient love is kind." These words are not only my bread for the day, but my coffee and chocolate and wine too, my heart and body finding strength and satisfaction and joy in them.
I'm ready for you Baby J. Mama's ready.