Labor Day Weekend 2005
Lake George, New York
We were camping. Briar was two weeks shy of her first birthday and my sister was in town. I’d known for about a week, but hadn’t known known until that afternoon. I remember the pads of my fingers slipping under my shirt, they hovered over my belly button. I smiled. Briar had staked her claim upon this part of my body, tracing with her fingers as she nursed, rubbing my belly as she filled her own. Then past the waistband of my pants, I caressed my abdomen, a feeling of intimacy already present, a life was growing inside of me.
Sean and I had talked about wanting another child. Briar had surprised us, not in the way of being unplanned, but what she sparked. I had not imagined how much I would love being a mom, how dear it would be to parent a child with a man I adored. I remember looking at him and realizing how much I had not seen in him, how much more there was to love. And then, we three fell in love.
Sure, there were sleepless nights, rants and maybe not oh dear god what have we dones, but I distinctly remember screeching, “Well hell if I know, I’ve never done this before!” in the middle of the night and one isolated instance of Sean asking me if he needed him to slap me (the first choking cough in the night’ll bring out the hysterical hand wringer in any first time mom worth her salt) but there was also peace. She grounded us. Everything but the most important things in our life just slipped away and we were left with only that which brought us joy (or paid the bills). Soon that joy seemed to be begging for another little one.
The morning after our first night at camp I watched Sean. I remember feeling as timid as could be. How would I tell him? Forget the fact that we had talked and, ah, actively worked on it. Together. Suddenly I was so aware of this little life inside of me. I wanted to find out all over again and have Sean there. It didn’t seem right that I knew what was happening, that as we sat there, Briar sleeping in the tent a fire crackling in front of us, our family was growing. We sat across from one another in the sun dappled clearing, smoke wafting through the air and the smell of the lake still on my skin. I waited for something to happen, a shift that would create the opening for my announcement, but all that came was a snap from the fire and the distant call of a bird.
Then his face changed. And it came.
“Briar is going to be a big sister.”
She’s two seeks shy of her first birthday. We are in love again, this time we are four. And yes, there have been slepless nights and rants and oh my gods, but there has also been magic and laughter, loving and tears.
No, this isn’t an announcement that I am pregnant. But I am feeling a tug. Another cycle in my heart. But mostly I am feeling blessed.