The attached photo is the look we often see staring back at us when people learn we have a 3 year old. No biggie, lots of people have 3 year olds but we also have a 20 year old and an 18 year old. I remember shortly after we told our teenage sons they were going to have another sibling Luke murmured…. people are going to ask me how old my other six siblings are. I was a little slow on the uptake but of course he meant that people wouldn’t believe there was that large of an age gap without at least 6 others in there somewhere.
My husband and I were in the middle of a fight when I found out I was pregnant. Technically about a day after a fight, I don’t remember what the fight was about now but I do remember it was one of those where you get a little quiet for about 24 hours. Still in our quiet zone I took the third pregnancy test by myself. I was in total shock, I know exactly how this works but we had done nothing permanent to prevent this since our last son was born (14 years prior) and at various times since then had tried to have another baby. I just thought it wasn’t meant to be.
I tucked the positive tests in the back of our closet. I kept my little bundle to myself for about 3 days. I felt like I was walking around with noise cancelling headphones on. What little I could hear all sounded like the Charlie Brown teacher coming through. The grocery store, post office, basketball games all sounded like… whaa wha wha wa wa waaa. If I saw you in the grocery store I’m sure I would have looked right though you, perhaps even walked away as you were in mid sentence.. waa whaa wa wa. I also had a little smirk on my face, still in disbelief but smirking.
Those first few moments talking it out with my husband we kept repeating things like diapers…. potty training…. yeah diapers… and then we both flinched at the same thought… Christmas Concerts!! We got over ourselves pretty quick. I understand in the big scheme of things our concerns were comical. Many people struggle ever conceiving and we were already blessed with two healthy boys. I also realized that my age really was more of a concern to my Dr. than I had anticipated. I was in good health, had uncomplicated pregnancies prior but there were a lot more bells and whistles this go around. I had to ask my Dr. to stop using air quotes every time he used the term “advanced maternal age”.
I turned 40, celebrated our 20-year anniversary and welcomed our third son into the world all within weeks of each other. Cass is what I like to call a surprise blessing. We thought that window had closed for us but SURPRISE it had not! We’ve become friends with many people in the cattle industry that we first met through business. Some you may only see once or twice a year through the course of doing business and I’ll ask my husband “Did you tell them about Cass?” No, it didn’t come up… and I didn’t know how to work into the conversation I have a baby now!
Things we’ve learned.
They really are all guinea pigs. What worked for one backfires with the next and what can backfire can be another child’s saving grace. When we sit down to a family meal with all three of our boys (those meals are RARE). We have a 20 year old living on his own and an 18 year old while very responsible still has to be separated from his 3-year-old brother for sibling rivalry at times.
We have hindsight and present tense literally having a meal together. I could shed a tear at how fast my older boys grew up. I could shed another at how long the days can be with a toddler. I would love to say we have foresight @ the table too but the tricky part with foresight is you only value it once it becomes hindsight.
I have more patience with our three year old that is true. I know all too well he is only little for a fleeting moment. “The days are long but the years are short” never feels more real than @ my dining room table.