Saturday, September 10, 2016

Let It Go

"Let it go, let it gooo..."

Those words have been on repeat in our house since the road trip up here, meaning, we're going on four months. There are the "Let It Go Dresses" (anything that makes Sybil feel pretty), the "pink Let It Go bike" (that she wants for her birthday), "Let It Go shoes" (that unfortunately met an untimely demise in my parents' new puppy's teeth), and anything pink that can equate in Sybil's mind to "Let It Go" (though she has been making a switch to blue in the past few days upon, I'm assuming, a realization that most Frozen things are blue.) With all of this talk of Let It Go (the simple words are overruling and supreme enough to demand capitalization), it's amazing that I haven't taken the directions to heart.

I need to let go of the weekly photos that I don't take, the blog posts that I don't write, the moments that I don't do juuust so. I need to let go of the idea that perfect will ever happen, because it won't, or that I have time to accomplish my to-do list, because I don't. I need to realize that I, as with most parents, do important work each day and make choices, most of which are forced for little peoples' survival, about what is most important and what goes to the back burner. I have to let go of the sadness that comes with saying farewell to the newborn days (does that ever fully go away?) in order to usher in the more tiring but also more rewarding days ahead. I'm pretty certain that "Let It Go" should be the motto of parents' everywhere. We do our best. We take our pictures and give out hugs and clean kitchens and march, march, march through life, trying to soak in every minute that we can while in the repetitive grind. But somewhere, sometime, our grind will slow and time will open up. And at that point I'm sure that we will have long since let go of all the floors that weren't scrubbed and piles of laundry we let wrinkle and the dinners that weren't home cooked, and we'll be sitting there trying to let go of that ache in our hearts to hear a little voice scream "Let It Goooo" just one more time.

(One day I will write a blog post full of happy moments and no wistfulness. Something about the writing experience just brings that out of me, especially at night when all those daily moments hold a rosy glow and hide their warts. Or maybe it's just the fact that the sheer act of trying to document this time is a vain attempt at scraping together all that I love and care for to hold on as tightly as possible. But there is so much happy, so much beauty. I have a baby swaddled by my side who is still so little even in all her bigness, two others passed out upstairs, too many brownies in my belly that were made with extra TLC from Sybil and Declan, and yet another episode of Gilmore Girls on TV. Life is good. Tomorrow will be good. And I need to remember that as much as I always wish I could go back to the good of yesterdays, that's simply because they were great todays. I need to enjoy my todays to the fullest, and know that with my habit of missing their goodness, I'm probably guaranteed lots more great ones ahead.)

{totally random selection of recent photos with no rhyme or reason, because hey, not letting perfect be the enemy of good. 
plus they make me smile. there's not much more important than that. }


Saturday, August 6, 2016

What I Would Have Said

{photos taken an hour before my doctor's appointment. trying to soak in the last moments of the little bump.}

Just eleven short days ago I lay in bed knowing that our new baby might arrive the next day. So much of me wanted to get up to write down my thoughts and feelings, to commemorate the moment properly as it would likely be my last time in that position. But as it was already past midnight and I knew that I should try to conserve energy for the next day, I opted not to. (What followed was a horrible night of sleep with Sybil waking up, Tegan needing water, and a headache to boot, but how was I to know that!) Sadly, weighing things out is basically the story of this third pregnancy when there have been so many competing interests and needs at hand. But as regret is something that plagues me, especially fueled by the baby blues, before these thoughts leave my mind I thought I'd still try to get them down.

If I'd chosen to write to you, our sweet little babe, I would have said how excited we all are to meet you. How every day Declan was asking if the baby was coming today, and as I was dilated for weeks, we told him it could be any day now over and over and over again. They'd kiss my belly and say hi to you, letting you know that they couldn't wait to meet you either. Sybi would point to my belly button when asked where the baby was, then lift her shirt and say, "Me! Me too!".

I would have said that I was convinced you were a boy, and that we had a name already chosen just for you. I would have told you that I was so curious to see if you'd look like Declan or somehow mix it up; that having another baby boy to raise into a young man is such a privilege, especially in this day and age where the expectations of masculinity and how men should treat women are making a shift. To have the opportunity to help model for and mold a young man to accept these new ways is a gift.

I would have said that I was still mourning having a little girl as well, to see from the inside what having a sister is like and to watch Sybil be looked up to in a special way. I didn't want to pack away the girl clothes, to have fewer braids to braid and nails to paint in the future. But I also would have been relieved in some ways for Sybi, because as the middle child she'd have an extra special spot as the only girl. (She can stand up for her goofy little self pretty well though, so there isn't much worry there.) 

I would have said that not finding out your sex was the best thing we chose. That no matter what you are, we are on pins and needles waiting to find out. 

I would have said that I was scared of what was ahead, of rocking the boat and adding a third to the family. How will it change the dynamic? What will Declan and Sybil's relationship look like in a few years? Will someone always be left out or will they just naturally fall into play and alone time? Three was always a tough number for me as a child when it came to being with friends, so I hope that it won't be so for siblings as well. 

I would have asked if we were making the biggest mistake in adding the third, a mistake that I knew I'd be sure wasn't a mistake as soon as I saw your face. 

I would have wondered what the labor would be like, my first time trying without drugs. Would I be able to make it to the tub? How long would this labor last? Would I want it to drag on a bit to enjoy this final time or would I be begging to make it end? I had everything ready - the camera was charged, a playlist was made, the cheerleading team knew that it was happening the next day and were ready to go. I truly couldn't wait, because as crazy as it sounds, giving birth is my favorite experience in the world. 

I would have lamented on the fact that you are my last baby and wonder how in the world I'm going to handle that. I still find myself wondering. 

Finally, I would have let you know that deep down I'm sure there is no mistake, no worries on what sex you are or how you will fit in to the family; that even though I love having you tumbling about inside me I still couldn't wait to feel your tiny self filling my arms. I would have let you know that there was no doubt in my mind that you are meant to be with us and that despite loving being pregnant, I was completely ready to meet my final new baby.