Her face lights up my dreams.
I lie in bed trying to drift away and, as I close my eyes, her vibrant smile is instantly behind my shuttered eyelids.
I see the gentle look that her own eyes always carry; the same one that gives her cherubic face a hint of serene loveliness.
I feel the baby kick or punch within my belly.
If someone asked me, who had never been pregnant, if this sensation is alien or strange my response would be that it should be, but that it’s strangely normal when it happens.
I see my daughter’s kind eyes and as I gaze into them, feeling our unborn family addition move once more, I wonder incessantly how her life will change for her after this birth.
I never had the distinction of becoming a big sister. I have no idea what it feels like.
I was born into this world already sharing my parents and my life, being an identical mirror-image twin. But my little girl has been an only child for a period of years now and my curiosity is both how much she’ll enjoy having another small person to play with—which I know she will—and, also, how odd it will be for her to have to share.
And it’s not her sharing me that I’m worried about. This one is a daddy’s girl, through and through.
Just recently we attended her school program and she wouldn’t go on stage—which she desperately wanted to do, knowing all the songs and accompanying hand gestures—if her daddy was not up there, off to the side. (Which is how we got these beautiful candids.)
And I know that loving a second child is something that, exactly like the first, cannot be imagined or understood in the slightest until it happens. I’m counting on that.
Because I feel this new growing life move and shift inside of me and there’s already an expanding space shifting within my heart.
My mother’s breast already begins to create tears behind my eyes, and a smooth lump within my throat, at the thought of this new little cherub thriving in my womb.
I cannot wait to meet him or her and I cannot wait for my daughter to either, but we have changes ahead, and lots of them.
We have a new round of waking every few hours and another go at “firsts.” Yet this is her first, too—my daughter’s first sibling and her first experiencing of the entirely different sort of love that comes with it.
And that’s something that I’ve always wanted for her, since the moment at her first ultrasound when I discovered that she was not a twin like me, but I spent years with her subsequently realizing that having just one child has its unique glorious benefits and I became selfish with not wanting to share her with anyone else.
Because it’s not just her that I’m worried about, having to learn how to share.
I’ll have to share her deliciously sunny laughter and her exuberant and blissful personality.
But I’m ready to, and I think she is as well.
Photos: Author’s own.