Third place

Third place

I rub my belly asking you for answers.

Are you quiet like the big one, sensitive, shy and mild, or loud like the small, bold, brave and eager?

I wish for your ability to forgive. For my being overwhelmed at times, for the chaos of this home with love overflowing this tin box of drippy faucets and drafty windows. Can you be patient for me? Because you must, as number three.

You’ll soon notice the dirt on the floor and the pee on the seat. You’ll be thrown into the mix of a couch covered in unfolded laundry, cat hair gathering on what was once my best attempt at productivity.

For you I’ll have less time, less patience and less space- for you to crawl, explore and grow- and yet you must fit in.

And when I get to worrying about this, laying here in my pyjama pants and your father’s tightening t-shirt, I comfort myself by knowing it’s not whether you will fit in, but that you already do and have. Here, in my itching belly, in my aching hips, you have already decided to choose to thrive. You’ve been doing so for 31 whole weeks already, despite my needless worrying.

You and me, though I hardly know you yet, are already a pair. You, elbowing me in my bladder, kicking me across my ribs. You, hiccup’ing every night at ten.

I felt your tiny toes move entirely across my womb from left to right just now, and it got me to thinking how crazy this life growing gig is, three times over.

Me, just sitting here, eating leftover mashed potatoes for a bedtime snack while you grow toenails, eyelashes and dimples.

Inside me, you’ve already established I am your place, despite the rest of it. Despite the four pairs of dirty underwear I can eyeball, hallmarking our floor, from any given place.

My being is yours. I must remind myself your home consists of more than the material.

Yes, the girls will certainly resent you at times, for my having one less hand for them to hold. Yes, I’m sure to come undone, and resign myself to just getting by. But will you even notice this, what I call an unraveling, as your being my third, or, will you simply think we’re making do?

I’ll soon have less time to think of any of it. Because as surely as the snow and the ice will melt in April’s thaw and send shoots of green, eager grass shooting to the sky once more, with that time you will be here. The sun will again grow in strength, too. Whether the world is ready for a change of season or not, arrive it does. Whether I have your hand-me-downs pulled out of the musty storage shed or not, arrive you will- on your time and not mine- and so I must relinquish any grasp on control.

You already know where you belong. And once more we will make do, with money, with time, with love.

Your sisters whine in their tiny bunk as your sleepy father sings them bedtime songs just now, and you punch me a jab in my side, expressing your disinterest in my personal yearning for rest.

I can feel change coming, thanks to your fair warning. Do you sense it coming, too? Hiccup away, my mysterious love, and I’ll dream of you again, and wonder. But from here on, I’ll try to place my trust in you that you’ll carve out space here in our chaotic world, as you’ve chosen a home here within me.

You have little and yet we have each other, number three. It will be enough.




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