You were written into my motherhood story and I knew it before I realized you were a little acorn growing inside. I didn’t know how to picture you here but I knew you were coming. I looked at your daddy and I asked, Do you feel like our family is complete? and he said No and I said, Me either. Even though we were riding along with two very loud and whiny boys on a road trip, those two who would become your doting brothers. We were crazy in love with them and couldn’t see past them but we knew.
We could feel you. Like you were there in an empty seat beckoning. A little Elsie Jane half-wave from the place you are from; from Everywhere like Heaven and Nowhere like the sky and totally from Love and Grace.
I felt your little call to our family–I’m yours!–and it made me nervous. Nervous like the night you almost came too too early and nervous like the night you came not too early but on a surprise date. You know, a woman vibrates through birth, no matter how that baby comes. Shaking and quaking and being pulled apart to bring the obscure to reality in a wet and screaming body of Just Right.
Elsie Jane, I am very wordy and still I cannot find words for you, for what it has done in me to have you here with us. Sure, it was rough, really really rough at first, but now here we are and every day has an extra layer of protection around it because you exist. I don’t even really know what I mean. I guess I mean that completing our family with you feels like the perfect package deal.
You? EJ. You are bright eyes and a wrinkled brow and you try to say owl. It comes out like how Megamind says Hello–Ohhhh Loooow. You are fascinated with your brothers and your chickens and you love avocados and bananas. You lean in and give so many hugs, even when friends come over, you reach for them and welcome them with your blue saucer eyes and open-mouthed grin and you hug them.
You make everyone say, OOOHHHH thank you with those hugs of yours…and then they make sounds like they’re so happy and surprised at the generous way you love, already.
You are one. Just one. There are so many years ahead to watch you grow and be this gracious little girl and we are sitting here, front and center and our insides never ever stop cheering for you. How could we not live a standing ovation for the feisty and mischievous icing on the cake and the brightest and giggliest silver lining and the very core of the apple of our eyes?
Love stays present, that’s what it does. It says, I’m coming with! even when your idea is totally crazy. I want you to know that we will be behind you with It, always. No matter your choices or roads or mistakes or triumphs. Your first year has done something inside us that needed doing, with the splitting open of birth and then healing and now we’re better at loving, because of you.
Maybe it’s because you’re third, or the first girl or maybe it’s because I’ve changed somehow, but I’m not so confused anymore, because of you. You are solidifying truths long buried in my soul and pulling them out. This frees me and because of you I’m focusing less on what I’m doing wrong or how I’m doing things or if I’m doing even one thing right. I don’t care. Is that bad? I don’t care because I just want to be with you and your brothers. That’s all I know because it’s so engulfing and even though I know for sure I’ll do millions of things wrong and I’ll never be able to keep up with all that needs doing for each of you, I’m going to be there. I’m here, Elsie Jane. I’ll be that annoying mother that stands by you (with my boundaries intact–truly, I’ll try!), grinning because I’m crazy about you.
You are an unexpected miracle and maybe those are the best kind. Your brothers started these changes in me and now you’ve come along to wrap it all up for me, to make it crystal clear that I am so loved. Now that is something good to fall back on as I go. Thank you.
Happy 1st Birthday, my EJ! I love you. Your brothers say, Happy Birthday, BooGoo!! And Daddy says, Happy Birthday, Bump!