Here we sit, anticipating the holiday, our last one as a family of three before baby boy makes his earth-side debut sometime early February. And aside from the quite literal (often panic-induced) clearing out and opening space for an additional person (though small at first) and all of its tiny person things, there is a definite heart purge that is happening at the same time. I find myself filling up my days with tasks and measuring it's success by my productivity, edging closer to "being prepared" and avoiding the quiet, the restful moments that I know are life-giving but would also force me to engage the emotions stirring beneath. Questions like what will our time look like? It's been just the three of us longer than it was just Ben and I. This normal is comfortable, so joyful. We have a routine and flow and we know each other intimately and deeply and all watch out for each other. I know their needs and can anticipate their emotions. Who is this little new person coming to disrupt our family dynamic? WHAT HAVE WE DONE?!
C.S. Lewis talks about the change in dynamic among his close group of friends when one of them passed away. It wasn't just that their group became void of that personality, it also lost unique facets of each member that the deceased friend had been able to draw out. And so as we anticipate a new personality joining this family I'm trying to alter my perspective to one of addition, not subtraction. Though on paper it looks like an overwhelming subtraction of personal time, space, social time, resources, one on one with my daughter, I remind myself of the beauty that this new life will bring out in each one of us. My excitement to see my husband bond with a son, to watch Ruth take pride in being a big sister; the joy a tiny baby so fresh and new and innocent inevitably brings. And remember that life comes in seasons. I have to keep in mind that the physical dependence is short-lived. That the sleep will return and my body will revert back to (some form of) normal. To remember how quickly those babies grow and how fleeting those newborn snuggles really are.
And so we make room around the house for a bassinet, for diapers, for itty bitty adorable sweet smelling clothes and room in our hearts for a new life, a new blessing and new love. And this fleshes out by blocking off entire days before baby's arrival to spend with my firstborn. Special activities, intentional conversation and longer nighttime snuggles. Squeezing in extra date nights and splurging on some "me time." It looks like honest conversations with friends that allow you to cry and express your worries and anxieties no matter how silly you know they sound. And receiving the grace they offer in return. Acknowledging and making space for every emotion that exists in this time of waiting, without judgement. And taking time to just sit, embracing the moments of stillness.