Growing a family is the ultimate form of creation. What starts as two people joining their lives together becomes a living, breathing unit complete with its own personality, rules of operation, inside jokes, and shared history. Every new child, every act of parenting, every affection between members, every struggle and dysfunction shapes the experience of everyone within the unit. I mean, it’s really an incredible phenomenon.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this ever since Emerson was born. Before, it was just me and Alex. We had our thing—our rhythm, our dynamics, our bond. And then, there was Em. Suddenly, this new little person entered our sovereign nation and it somehow felt as if she was always there. She belonged and claimed a part of our hearts that had unknowingly been set aside just for her all along. So, if she was always meant to exist, who else is waiting for us? How many more members are out there (or down…in my ovaries)? It boggles my mind to think about. And even more so, to know that I already love them the way I did Emerson.
These thoughts were put into overdrive when I met my new niece, the third child in her family, last weekend. I’ve watched three little girls come into this world and become a family with their parents….sisters become sisters….a unit become complete. And wow. Just WOW.
Subsequently, after watching these three girls in action, I feel like it’d be awesome to birth a 5-year-old instead of a newborn, because they are so great at taking care of younger siblings….and also, Emerson is much less threatened and jealous of older children sharing her mama.
Although, I must say, I felt I reached a new level of motherhood when I instinctually pulled out my breast to nurse my upset toddler while holding a newborn. She immediately relaxed and began giving the baby “gentle touches” instead of feeling threatened. A preview of things to come…..