When Ryan and I got married, we planned to have no children. We planned to live a lavish life of materialistic luxury and travel. Now we’re kind of pretending we think we’re done while both occasionally bringing up a fourth baby. This life is so wonderful and so not what I pictured.
Sunday was Valentine’s Day. We had a few bites of our heart-shaped dessert and then Baby B woke up screaming. Baby A then proceeded to scream for us to make her stop. We blew out the candle and tucked them back in. We had a few more bites and then the baby woke up again. We put her back to sleep and finished our treat. I trimmed Ryan’s hair and shaved his neck. He rinsed off in the shower and came out to find me sandwiched between two just-now-fell-asleep babies. We slid them over so we could snuggle and watch a movie in bed, just in case they woke up again. Which they did. It was such a lovely Valentine’s Day, though it wasn’t what I pictured.
My living room has a couch, recliner, and entertainment center in it. It also has a mini recliner, a bouncy seat, a plastic tool bench, a dump truck, a sea of toys and an empty toy box. There are finger print smudges all over the glass of that entertainment center and all kinds of blocks crammed under the couch. It is my comfort, my sanctuary, my favorite place to be. It is not what I pictured.
A few days ago Ryan apologized for interrupting my much-needed bath but, you know, when a toddler has to go, he has to go. Baby B refuses to be alone for even a moment so she toddled in after them and took up her bathroom perch, sitting on a stool with a few good books surrounding her. One kid went potty and one kid barked at the doggies on the page before her. All three of my family members marveled over the crazy contortions my belly made while I was in the water. They left just in time for the water to get cold. I only had quiet and privacy as I was drying off. It was kinda fun, though not what I pictured.
I was going to be a detective, a murder mystery writer, a pediatrician, a dance teacher, or a dental hygienist. I spend my days reading to babies and my nights writing books or updating our website or cleaning and sewing while I get sucked into a good show with my husband. This is the best life I could ask for and it is not what I pictured.
This morning the baby was napping and I set the toddler up with a coloring book so I could get some book work done. He curled up beside me and told me about his plans for the day. He asked me to read him story after story. He tickled my chin and called it a beard. He pointed out all moles that weren’t covered by clothing and then reminded me, in case I forget, that I have some on my back and my armpit too. He practiced his current Bible verse—“Elations 22: The fwoot of a spiwit is love, joy, peace, p… p… kine-ness.”—and asked me to sing him the song. His baby sister woke up and I had done exactly no work at all. It was the happiest kind of morning, and not at all what I pictured.
I’m learning a little more every day that the best is always yet to come.