Life with three is an absolute wonder…Grandma being here to cook, clean and entertain takes the edge off too (did I mention she tiled a bathroom wall and completed the kitchen back splash with Sean? No? Well she did, I know, I’m spoiled, but back to the girls.)

Briar has emerged from Finley’s arrival as a full fledged little girl. She is dancing and preening and generally cavorting in an “I’m ok” kind of splendor. I’ve hovered to make sure it isn’t an act, but honestly it seems as if she has been liberated. Her eyes dance and her legs move like a blur beneath her, carrying her from one big-girl activity to the next. Every once and again she flits by caresses Fin’s face, pats my cheek and says, “Aw, she’s just sooo Cute,” and then she is gone.

Avery finds herself torn between reaching for my arms, pleading to be carried and passionately pleading to hold Finley, her baby, our baby, Mama’s baby, Daddy’s baby, Briar’s baby, my baby, Grandma’s baby, all ours baby. Last night, as Finley had her signature, “Hey, it’s that time again, 1:45, the commencement of the three hour block of together time,” Avery padded to our room. Sean was in with Briar, so I helped her up into bed. The three of us spent the next several hours nursing and cuddling. Avery, seeing that Fin was hungry, offered to help. As Finley hungrily slurped milk at my breast Avery leaned into me, pressing both hands on the top of my breast and saying, “I’m helping Finley with her milk in your body.” The blend of mother earth and bovine machine made me break into punchy giggles.

I am sore, memories of the first six weeks of breastfeeding coming back in full, smarting-red and purple glory. The reality of being up with Finley and knowing that it is not soothing or milk or changing that she wants, but just my presence, veils me in the inimitable cloak of this time, joy and sorrow in every breath, the miracle of life and the sudden awareness of how swiftly the hands of time move pressing upon me.

And then they are there, kneading and suckling, honeyed breaths dusting my face, Sean murmuring to Briar down the hall, a soft pillow cradling my head as tendrils of Avery’s hair tickle my face and Finley’s toes play along my belly. My family filling up the crevices of this sleepless, rapturous time.

Silently I scribe the details of this moment in time, the marrow of my life signing it happily…

sore and sleep deprived in bliss