This is the last summer where it is just the three of us, our little family that has brought me so much joy. I mean, of course, I knew that. And I'm so very, very excited for Jack. I can only dream about all the ways he will complete us. But right now, I only know the three of us, and I wonder what our future looks like. I think it will look something special, but I wonder if it has some heartbreak in store for Lucy and maybe a bit for me. Will I mourn the loss of the mother I have come to be for her? I see joy in our future, but maybe a little bit of confusion too?
I have no doubt we will be better, and stronger and more in awe of life's beauty when Jack gets here. But I have loved the three years I have had with just Lucy. Lucy, my child, my daughter, my dance partner, my big girl. She was the first to give me the title of mother. And with that changing of the guard, my life, my soul has been brighter and clearer.
This summer has been the summer of pink shoes. Ones that she never takes off, even when she sleeps. They are broken and dirty, but are always on her feet. It has been the summer of swimming, of slow walks, as my body adjusts to the new life inside of me. It has been a summer of aches and pains for me, and it hasn't been lost on Lucy. I fear we are raising a hypochondriac. She wants to go to bed because she feels "sick." She limps around on her "sore" leg. She asks me constantly if I'm okay.
But it has also been a summer of hopes and dreams. We talk about Jack every day. How he will sleep in the crib, and wear diapers, because he is a baby, but not her, she is a big girl. She feels my stomach and waits for the kicks. She tells me, "Mom, I just love Baby Jack."
It's a summer of growing up. Lucy wears big girl undies now, and sleeps in a big girl bed. Those changes weren't without their moments of sadness, as she transitions to big sister, and leaves behind only child.
When I leave for work, she asks me, "Mommy, will you come back soon please?" When I come home, she runs to me, yelling, 'HUGS!" and tells me, "I just love you so much Mom." We have our moments. Lucy is also fond of telling me she doesn't love me, when frustrated, or that she loves Daddy, and that I love Ollie.
For me, this summer has been hazy around the edges. I feel different this pregnancy. I have a deep tiredness stored in all new places. I have worries about the future, and about the present. Am I doing my best? I know I'm not. But I'm trying really, really hard too, even when a nap is all I want. We watch more movies than I ever thought possible, and eat at random times, or sometimes not at all. But, I want to take a step back and remember this summer for what it is. Not just a summer of record breaking heat, where I seem to run ten degrees hotter than the thermostat. I want to remember that this is a summer of blessings. Of change. Of moving forward, but holding on. I want to remember Lucy yelling, "I'm awake!" every morning, and crawling into bed with me. Of her joy as she tackles new challenges. Of the preparations we are making, the clothes I put away and the new ones that were put in their place. I want to relish every moment I have where it's just the two of us. Co-Conspirators in our home, ally's in our battles, best friends in our adventures.
In a few short months (or maybe a few long months) we will be four. And four has been a hard-fought battle. I look forward to this winter as a time of nestling, settling and adjusting. Of new love and reconfirming existing love. And when I see Jack for the first time, I think my soul will expand even larger, brighter and clearer, and I'll better understand my capacity for love.