From the moment I knew I was carrying you, I loved you. That’s the amazing thing about love, it just keeps multiplying. Loving you didn’t mean that I loved anyone else less. Just knowing you existed made my heart swell with love.
As you grew, my love and anticipation grew. But no amount of anticipation or dreaming or planning could have prepared me for your arrival. You sped through labor and delivery and into your daddy’s hands while your siblings slept. You didn’t even wait for assistance. And my heart swelled with more love.
Then you met your sister and your brother. They were completely smitten with you, and my heart swelled with more love.
Being the third child has its perks. I had practiced on the two of them so your diaper changes didn’t take as long. I knew how to entertain you in the swing while stirring the pot of soup on the stove. I was an old pro at nursing. I knew what positions helped an upset tummy. My arms were conditioned for endless snuggles, and my heart was conditioned for swelling with more love.
Now it hasn’t all been peaches and cream.
Your brother didn’t understand the concept of gentleness. Peacefully rolling on the floor and tummy time just weren’t an option. In order to keep you safe, I wore you in a carrier or held you in my arms most of the time for the first several months. Having your head rest on my heart made it swell with more love.
One of me with three young ones means you have to wait sometimes. Wait a little longer to get your diaper changed. Wait in your swing while I settle a dispute over a favorite toy. Wait to be fed until I finish putting breakfast on the table for them. Wait for snuggle time.
The waiting doesn’t mean that I love you less than I love them. It is just a part of life when children are little and all of you have needs to be met.
You may have to wait during the day, but each night when your brother and sister are finally asleep in their beds, I pick you up from your cozy cocoon and cradle you in my arms. It’s our special time. I rock gently as I listen to your breathing and watch the expressions on your face while you sleep peacefully. Or if picking you up awakens you, I look into your beautiful blue eyes and share smiles and giggles with you. Then I just rock you back to sleep, and my heart swells with more love.
You are nine months old now, and I feel like we have hit our groove. Sure you are a teething mess, but your drooling four-toothed smile makes my heart swell with more love.
Yes, you don’t get as much undivided attention from your daddy and me as your siblings did, but the love you get from your brother and sister makes up for that.
Hearing your brother say, “Baby brudder, I miss you when I was gone” makes my heart swell with more love.
Watching your sister play peek-a-boo with you makes my heart swell with more love.
My heart that seemed so full after marrying your daddy, after giving birth to your sister, and after your brother came along, just keeps swelling and swelling. Sometimes when I am rocking you after the rest of the house is asleep, it feels as if my heart will burst with love, but I know that it will just keep swelling with more love because that’s the way love works. I also know that it will continue to swell with love as I watch you grow into all that God created you to be. He created you for a purpose, and I can’t wait to see how he uses you.
Along the way, I’ll make mistakes. I’ll make you wait too long and fussing will turn to big tears. I’ll get caught up in the little details and forget the big picture. I’ll forget to give you a bath until I realize it’s been a week. I’ll call you by someone else’s name. I’ll send you out the door in mismatched socks.
But I promise you this: my heart will always swell with love for you. No matter how many mistakes I make, no matter how many mistakes you make, I will always be your momma, and I will always love you.