October 2013: ANOTHER !?!?!?!!
November 2013: another....?
December 2013: another......
January 2014: another. another. another. another.....
October 2013: ANOTHER !?!?!?!?!!
November 2013: ANOTHER !?!?!?!?!!
December 2013: ANOTHER !?!?!?!?!!
January 2014: ANOTHER !?!?!?!?!!
James turned one early in November. He's old enough to have worn a tie to Christmas Eve Mass (see Exhibit A). So....I should be almost three months pregnant right now, had we followed the Standard Sealy Family Plan For Family Expansion. But I'm not three months pregnant right now. I'm not one month pregnant. I'm not even one day pregnant. And oh how I begin to wish I was. But, as the handy chart above shows, Rich and I are still in the negotiations process - and we are not swiftly moving in the same direction.
|a head wound that already made him look like The Boy Who Lived|
just begged to be finished off with a marker
I've been in this place before - a place where my prayers cannot help but start with that one wistful word: another. But for the very first time, my prayers are not ending on the same expansive note. Because.... I'm not sure that they are likely to be answered as per my exact wishes any time soon, and I'm trying hard to accept that. Though I would be tremendously glad for the gift of another baby, my husband would reeeeeeeally not - so..... I'm trying very hard to remind myself that I already have a baby. He doesn't even have hair yet. Well, ok, he has some completely ridiculously cute curls on the back of his head, but he's still practically bald up top. He's in diapers. And a high chair. He's nursing. And spoon-fed. He barely talks, except to say Hi-dah! (Hi Cat!) and Cook-Cook (As in "cookie". As in "I saw you eat that cookie and if you don't give ME a cookie in the next 13 seconds I am going to make the next half hour absolutely miserable for every.person.in.this.house."). He also says Genk-oo (Thank You. For the Cookie.) and when Rich gets home from work, he RUNS trippingly and unsteadily to the door with outstretched arms and lovingly, joyfully, exuberantly calls to his beloved father,
(We're working on that. Hard. Well, Rich is - I think it is hi-larious).
He's only two months past his first birthday. He's a baby. I HAVE a baby.
But every time I find myself in a moment of silence and solitude - every time I turn my gaze on God - my heart whispers it - "another". I can't help it. There are PLENTY of moments of noise and chaos and near-disaster (and actual disaster) each day when another seems like a perfectly foolhardy design, but in the quieter moments, the desire is anything but foolhardy.
|(10 AM. disaster. idea seems foolhardy. extremely.)|
|1 PM. idea appears far less foolhardy |
( or at least slightly more sensible than napping with a toothbrush in hand)
I caught myself (almost in time) and surrendered the desire (again). Suddenly, for the first time in my whole life, I wondered if Mary ever had to surrender that desire....to be pregnant again, to labor again, to hold a brand-new infant again, to see a gummy first smile again, to fill up the home further, to add another little face around the dinner table, to hear one more layer of laughter around the house and enjoy one additional source of silly faces and earnest expressions and tight hugs. Did she ever find her heart whispering another?
But how could there ever be Another for her?
Another virgin birth? Another star-drenched angelic host? Another magi? Another child divine?
Another was impossible.
Mothers aren't supposed to have favorites, but how could it be helped if the First Child was God and the others were just.....ordinary. No. Mary had to be satisfied with Just One. More than satisfied, she had to be humbled and grateful and overjoyed beyond telling. She had to submit to her vocation as He had shaped it, trusting that His designs were best for her, best for her Child, best for her family, best for the world. She had to pour herself completely into what had been given her without broodingly longing for anything other or additional. She had to live in the moment, surrender completely and accept whatever unfolded in the life of her Family with total trust in the goodness of God's (often surprising and always challenging) plan.
As do I.
As do I.