By: Danny Thomas
I have a daughter who just turned six…
and another arriving in less than a month…
And a little ball of glorious sister in-between.
Jen and I spent this weekend getting the house in order,
some of which involved the common post-holiday purge and re-organization
and the also common stemming the tide of stuff and clutter…
but most of which involved building a crib and preparing a nursery
and working out the engineering of three car seats across the back seat of our car.
It’s funny, when the first baby came we spent hours poring over books and articles, attending classes on birth, child care, and nursing. We were already avid watchers of TLC’s “A Baby Story”, but viewings went into double time, and carried more weight…the kid was due in January, and we felt guilty about not having her nursery-ready until mid-October. Ha! We bought a new, safer car. Our worries were BIG, esoteric, felt like life and death.
When the second one came, we got out the old books, and set them next to the bed, intending to read them. We felt prepared. We had a lot of the same worries, but we were in the same home, a familiar place…things were definitely changing, but we felt confident and easygoing about it, excited for the ride.
Here we are on the verge of number three! It feels like a mix of the two.
We have never had a new baby outside of Eugene, OR. We have never had a baby in this house. We have never been outnumbered. We know how to have a baby, we like that, we love it. We revel and delight in it. That’s not what worries me. It’s more how the big sisters will handle it, and how the new one will change all our relationships. Our worries are so much more in the practical; how will we keep up on cleaning, laundry, car seats? Feels like life and more life.
I feel like I was so distracted by maintaining a home and a family, that I spent the last eight months just sort of knowing but not knowing this would come…and now…
There is nothing between us and this third baby coming. No holiday. The day to day is here. But we have a crib and a car seat – it’s all very real.
I feel like I am trying to make up for 8 months’ of laissez-faire – of not worrying –by absolutely losing my shit now.
It started when we took the girls to the hospital for their “Big Sister Class” – the birthing center, the room, the bed, Jen’s expression when she saw the bed…and the little tiny squealing humans…
The new sense of losing my shit, and the new sense of waiting until this late in the game to do it comes with a concomitant sense of excitement and enchantment.
I love babies. I love my wife. I love my family. We delight in each other.
My wife, good god, she just threw me a Reisen. She is perfect, profoundly strong, and inspiring and I thank her daily for carrying and birthing our children. I will slice her Honeycrisps and bring her Diet Coke (or whatever it is she wants) until I die, for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is her miraculous ability to bear our children. I will also give her a bit of a hard time now and again, partly because I am moody, and partly because she likes it when I do.
Lil’ Chaos just turned six.
I can’t believe it’s gone by this fast.
She is sophisticated and elegant
wild and complex
She is a tightly wound spring
and a loosey-goosey clown.
She is my love, my pride, my princess.
She’s also the Huck Finn to my Tom Sawyer.
I can’t wait to see what she becomes.
I am filled with worry at the thought of what she becomes.
She is a warrior and a bandit,
A dreamer and a mastermind.
And, just like her mother…
She makes me want to be a better me.