Monday, January 16, 2012

{Preview} Three

In the past few weeks I have awoken to tiny voices in the night, like ghost cries in the shower - echoes, faint, trailing.  I have found myself dazed at one a.m., barefoot in the hallway, listening for a newborn.  It’s nothing really, I tell myself.  And I don’t want another baby.  I’m not patient enough, miserable at pregnancy, and more times than not, painfully inadequate at handling the children I already have. 

Yet I am so intrigued by three and the mother who can handle it.  What is the magic she bares?  The internal dose of pale blue calm she centers herself on again and again?  How do I get that?  Like Missy:  freckled, perennially sunned, ageless.  Unflappable.  A workhorse:  forever going, doing, making, creating.  The kind of mom you want to buy hours off of.  And, she has three.  A breathtaking trio of pouty lips and cerulean eyes, porcelain skin and ink swept lashes. I photographed the baby, Lucy, last spring at four weeks, then this fall shot all three.  They plopped in the grass, a rambling little river of girl, and had me.  Had me thinking.  Three.  How very, very sweet.  Perhaps.

Perhaps, but mostly, I remain scrambled, and in awe.  Repeatedly scrolling through batches of photos like these, adding up the small, beautiful bodies – one, two, three.  Searching big round baby eyes like Lucy’s hoping for an answer, or the courage to scrape together my own.


  1. I can so identify with your 1AM wanderings and wonderings about whether to have another---I think most women can.

    When you are of child bearing age and the huge responsibility of them feels to be squarely on your shoulders---not only to bear them but, truthfully, to be the one who does most of the rearing of them, you always wonder when to stop. Should I have another or not!

    It is such a huge decision we all have wrestled with and I loved reading your intimate, candid musings and worry over the whole thing. Some women can handle the chaos of three or more and some cannot. Like you, I decided I could not. As the years go by and you throw yourself into all the things that go with raising the two of yours sometimes you will go back and say to yourself, what if I had had that third child? That's all very normal.

    The truth is we are so fortunate to have what we do have, to try to do the very best job we can with them, and then to just be grateful for the here and now. Life certainly is a mystery ---all the decisions we make have a profound effect on the rest of our lives. I consider all of us very very lucky with the choices we have already made---husbands and then children.

    Just know, you are not alone.

  2. I am most humbled by the sweet tribute you wrote. It almost makes me giggle how sometimes I feel like I have even "fooled" my bestest of friends into thinking I am a calm and in control mama. But then I take a deep breathe, stop the self-criticism and remind myself - I am a good mommy. I do my best. I am warm and fun and truly love unconditionally and always. I yell - I throw tantrums - I bribe my sweet girls when I have to. I have those ugly mommy moments like everyone - but usually I am the only one that sees them (besides my crying children). Why are we so hard on ourselves? Because as mother's we are our only "boss" in this 24-7 job?

    But then we have friends - dear friends whose opinions and perspectives we value oh so dearly. And most of all - dear friends that bring out the BEST in us. I often think I am my "best mommy self" when I am around my favorite friends. I am at ease and happy and carefree. I live in the moment - and my girls feel this. They see my eyes sparkle and my heart glow and my mind at peace when I am with my besties. They let loose - literally kick off their shoes and squeal in delight. We are all giddy in happiness and so yes....I seem calm and in control and laid back and able to handle it all.

    I also think that baby #3 makes you "let go"...something has to give and when you know she's your last little angel you simply say - screw all that doesn't matter. The laundry is out of control, the dishes are piled embarrassingly high in the sink, cheerios carpet the floor. But we snuggled and giggled and danced the day away - so who can judge me?

    xoxox Thanks again for these treasures....