I was afraid of the gap. You know, the one where you have some kids and then wait several years to have another? That gap.
When we moved here, we kept all the baby things because we weren’t ready to say we were done but weren’t ready to start over. Moving to the farm brought wayyy more chores than our neighborhood home and adding a tiny human to that mix felt a bit crazy.
There were months of back and forth . . . talk of barefoot baby feet stomping all over this place with his or her brothers and days of “Nah, we’re good!” (because making big decisions is right up there with being impatient in the areas I could improve on).
Then, one day, a friend said to imagine what I wanted my Thanksgiving table to look like in 20 years.
Without hesitation, I answered “full.” I want it so full there is barely enough room for chairs to hold the people, there will be people sitting on the stairs in the dining room (a rite of passage at the farm), a table covered in food and empty plates, and so many pies in the kitchen we will send leftovers home with everyone who walks through the door. That’s how it was when I started coming to holidays here, and that’s how I always want it to be.
And just like that the back and forth was done.
After months of sadness, loss, tears, and exhaustion, we were greeted with news of a healthy growing baby three. During those months, I struggled with how far apart the boys would be in age from the new baby. Would they have any interest? Would the baby have anyone to play with? We’d be the old parents by the time #3 was in high school. My nervousness popped her head in every now and then throughout pregnancy. I had no reason for it. These boys practiced taking care of a baby and kissed my growing belly every night before bed.
Fast forward to baby #3 joining us this summer, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the gap.
If you ask our kids who their favorite person is, they can answer it as quickly as I can tell you what I want my table to look like at Thanksgiving—it’s their brother. No hesitation. They play with him before school, love on him when they get home, and jump up in my lap to kiss him goodnight as we are rocking to sleep. They’ve not once complained about helping or complained about his cries.
The gap I was so afraid of has given us time to enjoy and appreciate every ounce of the baby stage that went so fast with the first two. The trials and the learning brought us here, to life with three, that we always knew we wanted.
So, today, I will hold this fella for as long as he’ll let me, catch all of the smiles he throws my way, and take a couple of quiet laps around the yard to soak up some sunshine. Because soon his bare feet will be covered in mud, chasing brothers and animals and bugs through the yard while my fears of the gap will be a distant memory.