We almost didn’t have a third baby.
Mainly because I thought people who had three kids were certifiable lunatics. Parenting is really fucking hard and really fucking heavy. Whether it’s one kid, two kids, three, four, or five— being a parent often seems like nothing more than an evolutionary tactic of survival. Loving someone (or three someones) so intensely that I’d quite literally die to ensure their survival seems a little melodramatic, unhealthy, one-sided in their favor, and potentially disastrous for me as the one willing to take the bullet. I wonder daily why people speak so highly of parenting and yet being my children’ mother is solely responsible for giving me a purpose so much bigger than anything I would’ve or could’ve chosen for myself. It fulfills me and simultaneously sucks the life out of me. It gives me direction and causes me to walk into the kitchen for for the third time today and not remember what the hell I even went in there for.
Once Edie turned one, I assumed that the baby-making chapter of our lives had been permanently shut down for business and Joe made no secret that he was emphatically done impregnating me, no matter how much fun he had doing it. We were tired. We were busy. Our patience was stretched thin as it was with Edie being such a high-maintence baby. More than anything, we were both painfully aware of our luck. Conceiving was easy (too easy for Joe’s preference) and what followed were two uneventful healthy pregnancies and two healthy baby girls. Joe was ready to sleep a full eight hours again. Things were getting easier. Why become one of those lunatics? Plus, I felt complete.
That is, until I didn’t.
One night when Edie was around eighteen months old, I had a vivid, life-like dream about a baby boy. He looked familiar. He looked like Marlo. He looked like Edie, only much chubbier. He looked like…. me?! As I watched him, his presence possessed a certain level of comfortability— like an old friend I’d known my entire life. His name was Knox. As I silently admired this beautiful baby boy, he turned towards me and reached out his arms. Instinctually, I reached back and took him into my arms.
And then I woke up.
I shot up in bed, shocked, and remained still for a few minutes. I was confused and needed to gather my bearings. After a little while passed, I made the decision that the dream was clearly a nocturnal hallucination brought on by extreme exhaustion courtesy of Edie. I planted my feet on the floor, got out of bed, and began my day. I made the girls their breakfast. I drank my mug of coffee with cream. I went through the motions of the day only I couldn’t kick this feeling of what can only be describes as emptiness. I felt hollow, like a vital piece of me was missing and I was unable to kick the visceral longing that accompanied it.
And then it hit me: I wasn’t complete after all. WE weren’t complete. There was a baby boy waiting for us and I’d never been more sure of anything. A few months later, we discovered we were pregnant with a baby boy. We named him Knox.
In nine short days, my beautiful brute will turn one. And you know what? After we met the baby boy who completed our family, I can say with certainty that I wasn’t all-together wrong. We are fucking crazy. But when the insanity that is parenthood provides an undeserved, unconditional, otherwise unmatched kind of love and you find that you are quite literally living a dream come true, lunacy can also be kind of amazing.