For almost eight years, it has been just US. The dynamic trio. A universe focused on and around Isabel becoming part of, and then seamlessly fitting into our lives. I always thought I would have more than one kid, three actually-used to be my ideal number. But alas, the ebb and flow of life-tides trump any girlish ideals. Life happens and when it does, it's complicated. Way harder than we ever believe it will be, and just different in many ways. Often these different ways are surprisingly good eye-openers for getting to know what you REALLY want, and what makes most sense for You and the path you are on, whether you devised the path or not. In short, I originally thought we would have another kid before now. But in reality, I wasn't feeling ready for another one until Isabel was about 5, and then when I was ready, my husband and I were not. The timing was completely off. Flash forward through a couple of rough but necessary years, and here we are: on the other side of all that. About to welcome another little girl into our world. Another girly! Ebb and flow.
When I was pregnant the first time, every kick was a bit alien-esque. W.T.F? There was no reference point yet. Now that I know the force that is Isabel- how she came into this world her very own person the minute she was born, there is NOTHING ABSTRACT about this second time. It's not a question-mark alien kicking me. This squirmy passenger is a little girl we are going to be hanging out with a lot. A little girl with her distinct look and tastes and laugh and walk. A little girl with little fingers and toes and knees I will memorize just as I have every inch of her big sister. Who is she?!?
One of the sweetest parts of all of this is sharing it with Isabel. When I was feeling nauseous, she would offer me my favorite comfort cereal (LIFE or RICE CHEX) and rub my feet. As my body has been changing, she has been fascinated at every new development. Boobies! Boobs that will make milk! She thinks that's kind of hilarious, but mostly amazing. And yes, she assures me that my bigger than usual butt is not fat, "you're making a baby, mommy!". Bless her heart. We relish in the weekly baby center emails that tell us what size our baby is now: A blueberry! A kiwi! A tomato, a red cabbage! The first time she felt the baby kick, her face exploded with disbelief. "It's like jaws!". Laughing together at the craziness of it all, has already been fun in a different way. Just thinking of all the cute baby noises: the squeaks and farts and burps and coos, will be beyond funny. As a family, we tend to lean on the Skat-meter when it comes to humor, so I have no doubt the three of us have lots of comedy ahead.
Isabel has been mostly generous and excited about the idea sharing things with her future sister. "she can sleep in my bed!". Or, when cleaning out her closet, "I'll save these pants for my sister. She's gonna LOVE these!" Recently, however- we have experienced little glimmers of her maybe not loving the idea of sharing her universe with someone else. For instance, she has been taking weekly polaroids of me to document my belly progress and we have been putting them in a little book to welcome the baby. One day, I decorated a page with some glitter, and Isabel freaked out. "You never made a special glitter page for me. Why!!??". I told her simply that before she was born, glitter didn't really exist in my life. That she is the magic that made glitter readily accessible in our home. And besides, I put together a waaaay more involved (and cooler) book of photographs preparing to welcome her into the world- our first born. FYI, without glitter = not special. We talked about how yes, at times, it's going to be frustrating, and annoying to have the family dynamic suddenly different, and possibly slowed down by a little baby or a drooling spazz of a toddler. But we will embrace this cute new person and take her along with us wherever we go. She will just have to learn to roll as we do! And when she simply can't- because it's inappropriate or too late, yes, we can hire a sitter and have special nights- just the three of us. Daddy's late concert? Of course. A friday night Dodger game and stay late for the fireworks? Sure thing. We have had seven years of just the three of us. Before these seven years, Mike and I both had a lifetime of rich years, but somehow, once Isabel entered the picture, it's hard to think back to a world before these last seven. It's just the way it is. A world without your children is impossible to imagine once they are here.
I have made yearly photo books dedicated solely to Isabel. And, yes-there's this blog! Realistically, there will never be photo books soley dedicated this new little girl or a blog dedicated to just her and me. She will of course, squeeze in and find a spot in all but most likely, she will be gazing starry-eyed at her Big sister in in every frame. The only world she will know will be one she shares with Isabel. I'm sure she will find her own way to shout out loud and shine, but- it will always be in a shared spotlight. Which may be easy- if that's all you know. Perhaps a bit tougher if you've had the lead, and now have to step aside and learn to duet. We will stay open to these thoughts and emotions and learn to deal with them one by one. After talking this through a few times, Isabel took a deep breath and started to smile, and sniffle, realizing how good she has actually had it. We agreed that this goodness is not coming to an end, it's just approaching a turning point. And while I will probably miss the easy groove the three of us have naturally established, I do have faith that once we get through this growth spurt of a family, it will be hard for any of us to imagine a time when it wasn't Just the Four of Us.