It may sound melodramatic, but as I took these head shots of my three children yesterday, I realized that this is the end of an era for us. Baby four is, perhaps, only six weeks away - or perhaps eleven - either way is soon. You might think that by the fourth time adding another kid is no big deal. In many ways it is not. Nothing will change my life like the way going from "not-a-mother" to "a mother" changed my life. Then, learning to be the mother to more than one kid was mind-blowing. I learned that the human heart is capable of so much more love than I ever imagined. So, I do not expect to have my mind blown this time. I have fallen in love with three of these little people already. I know that will happen instantly. I know what it is to care for an infant while also caring for other children. Still, every child profoundly changes me, because I become that child's mother, too. Every child has changed our family. We'll go from being a family of five to being a family of six. Our home dynamic will change. We are adding a brand new person into our intimate little family with their own unique personality. We don't even know who this person is yet, and yet I know we will love him/her.
I can look back at pictures of just the boys, before our Penny was born, and those pictures seem like a different life. It is hard to imagine (or really remember) what it was like to only have my boys with no Penny. I suppose looking at these pictures of my three, I realized that this time next year I will see these photos so differently. They will be photos of "before," though, at the moment, they are my very present. I know this change is coming - and soon - and yet there is no way to mentally or emotionally prepare for it. You just greet life as it comes and let it change you. I will be transformed, soon, to a mother of four. Life will be different. This life, these moments, will become dull and hard to access when compared to the fullness that will be our new life with our new little one. I am sure this all sounds so basic, but it feels profound to be faced with it.