There's Something About Three

Pregmoma03Matt says this is his favorite picture of me. It was taken in February 2003, just a few days before Jude's birth.

There's something about that third baby. I don't know what it is exactly.

A close friend reminded me that I sent her an email titled: Three is crrrrraaaazzzy! It is, in the sense that suddenly I had no free arms, not enough hands, not enough eyes and needed a trailer just to haul all the paraphrenalia around.

People looked at me differently once I had three children. They wonder why you didn't stop at two, and then wonder if you're stopping at three. Everyone wants to know: are you going to have more??

Three kids is a Big Family to most people. People want an explanation for your three children. I realized I was something of an anomaly, a novelty. I heard this phrase over and over, "Wow, you have your hands full!"

Finally, one day some guy at the coffee shop said it and Jewel (who was 5 at the time), looked right up at him and declared (rather indignantly), "Everybody says that!!"

I've been asked all kinds of things about why I had three children. Some people want to know if I'm Mormon or Catholic. Others comment (with a raised eyebrow) that I'm so young. Still others want to know how I'm ever going to save money for their college education. I've been asked if I'm "just" a Mom. Some women have asked me: Don't you get bored being at home all day?

There was a time when I took these questions personally, felt as if my being "Just A Mom" was something to be ashamed of. I felt like I had to defend myself for betraying the sisterhood. Had I not received the memo wherein I was ordered to seek career first, family second?

I don't feel that way anymore! I've come to realize that most of those questions people ask me belie their own insecurity or bias. It usually has nothing to do with me.

Rather than taking things personally, I excercise compassion for those who may not be able to have children. I feel sorrow for those women who crave a child and cannot, for whatever reason, have one. I grieve for the women who are denied the pristine joy of holding their own baby in their arms.

Instead of a snappy, sarcastic answer when I get Those Questions, now I just smile and say, "Yes, I've been blessed. Blessed three times!"