It's as if the heavens have opened. Bursting forth in the form of budding trees, blossoming florals, and sweet celestial sunshine; a new day has dawned.
If you read my last column in March, you know to say it has been a long winter for our family would be an understatement of the millennium. When the winter bullies spring in arriving late or not at all, there is something that panics inside of me. As if the the entire universe is entirely off course.
The late bizarre, but ever ingenious word artist Ernest Hemingway writes in his memoir "A Moveable Feast" about his love affair with spring and he said "In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed." I've been going over this quote in my mind lately — marinating in the truth of what he was getting at. It is frightening when springtime, along with all the new life that blows in with it, feels like it will never arrive. And not merely because of the much-needed temperature change, but because Spring's arrival innately tells the beautiful story of the natural course of all of nature and humanity: Rebirth and new life.
New life is heavy on my heart this spring as this was always the year and season we "earmarked" (as if you can really plan for something that is largely out of your hands) for taking the plunge in thinking about adding another tiny human to our ever chaotic family. But as we are in the throes of the terrible twos with our current daughter, the winter was the 10th worst in state history (so sayeth the news), and not to mention the serious complications with preeclampsia we experienced with our first pregnancy; I've been struggling with whether or not this is the right season for us to think about baby number two.
I recently took my daughter sans husband to see my sister-in-law and niece in California. I was gone for a total of 10 days and in those 10 days I got a small taste of what it would be like to be a caretaker of more than just one child.
That being said, I would like to pause here and say to all you parents out there with multiple children: Did you ever know that you're my hero? I'm not kidding. Give your self a gold star for life and get your angelic little bottom to the spa for a massage. You deserve it.
As one may imagine, 10 days with my niece, age five, and daughter, age two, was truly an memorable adventure. My sister-in-law and I, both with husbands working during this "vacation", played one-on-one coverage with the children but despite our best efforts; we still found ourselves annihilated at day's end mumbling mildly coherently sentences to each other like "we did it."
To better illustrate, by the end my sister-in-law had dubbed my daughter the "tiny tornado" and after too many broken items to count, spills galore, and potty accidents I don't ever want to talk or think about again; I think the name will stick. And to top it off, we decided it would be fun and flew with both children to Las Vegas to see my sweet grandma for her birthday. And without going into too much detail, Vegas with a potty-training toddler and a bed-wetting school-age child: Probably not the best idea we've ever had. However, on a positive note, I do think we did a tremendous civic duty when the children made such a spectacle at the gliteratti Vegas pool that we are pretty sure we scared the horrified bronzing 20-somethings into celibacy.
You're welcome, America.
But as the trip wound to a close, and I began thinking about returning home, what I thought in the moment felt like pure chaos I started to ache for and actually miss before it was even over. Watching the children learn to get along, help each other, laugh carelessly and blissfully over nothing at all, and hold hands when they didn't think anyone was looking did something to my heart.
All the worries I had in even thinking about having another child seemed to pale. I suddenly feel like I am spring pushing against winter. No matter the complications that may arise, no matter adversity we will undoubtedly face; new life is worth the risk. And like spring that sometimes gets bullied into coming later than expected or begins and then is delayed by the harshness of winter, new life doesn't always come when and the way you expect. But when and if it does, we know the fight was worth it as there is nothing greater on earth than new life.