SO TINA Hamilton The Power of Three

Dear Baby

Sunday, May 12, 2019

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The Power of Three – A letter to my unborn son who obviously can't read yet.

“Three!?” she exclaimed. That's all my mom could muster through tears after I told her the good news. She knows why that number is so important to me. I am of course her third born. And coincidentally your father is the third child for his parents as well. Three. It seems like kismet. There are so many powerful meanings behind that number. The three little pigs, Goldilocks and the three bears, the I Three. Three is a thing. But three children? How much did we really think this through?

“Mama, soon there'll be three of us.” I paused for a second to take in the words of my precocious seven-year-old. Three. That means three potty trainings, three terrible twos, three school fees, three drivers ed training, three kids in college, three weddings, three sets of grandbabies. And five plane tickets to go anywhere!! It's a good thing I love staycations. More importantly, three right now means that we are outnumbered. What have we done? It is exciting and yet somewhat extremely scary at the same time. You'll know when you have children! You never, ever stop worrying. You never, ever stop wanting the best for them; making sure they're OK; checking to see if they've eaten; reminiscing on funny stories; showing random strangers pictures; fighting the bullies; ensuring they learn from mistakes and trying to see to it that they are happy – most of the time. It's a tall order becoming a parent and I dare say it may be even worse when you are a mom. Admittedly, with the health issues that came from having number two I wasn't sure that I could do this again. And yet here we are. You've given me a strength I never knew I had, and I thank you for it.

“Three,” he said with finality. “This is it, babe, we got our three.” Funnily enough, Daddy has been gung-ho and focused on wanting a boy. But when he found out that indeed that's what we are to expect, he solemnly said, “You know I wouldn't mind if it was a girl.” What!? After all my telepathic guzum on my belly? But I guess that may be a good thing. I think he is just spoiled because of how much your sisters love him. He is the best daddy I could have imagined for you guys. And he has your life all planned out. But what he doesn't know is that you're all mine. No pressure over here or anything, but boys absolutely love their moms – or so I'm told. And since you are my last bubba I don't want to share you with anyone. I was such a tomboy growing up; attached at the hip to my dad who would take me everywhere: to check up on the farms, to work on machines, to get me out of trees when I climbed too high and to pick me up every single time I fell off my bicycle (and in life). I always preferred jeans to dresses and did not even know how to use eyeliner until I was well into my late 20s. Your sisters are different. Dress-up is a daily occurrence and perfect, cool and funky make-up is a life goal – at least for the first one. Secretly, I can't wait to take you to the dirt bike track and go hiking in the mountains - on purpose.

I am already building my bond and treating this pregnancy a little differently from the others. You really can't blame me; it's my last one. Selfishly, I revel in the fact that when you wake up in my belly, no one knows but me. From butterfly kisses to first hiccups to crazy summersaults, I feel you. You react to the music I listen to and the food I eat and you dance when I dance. When I just started on this journey of bringing kids into the world I was overcome with fear. Was I going to be good enough? I wasn't sure if I could feel the love that everyone always talked about. And then came Isabelle and I couldn't love anything more. How could lightning strike twice? But with Ilyana, I feel like my heart doubled in size.

And after all the ultrasounds and prayers and life lessons from the first two, the good news is I'm not afraid anymore. Not afraid of what kind of mother I'll be. Not afraid of how my marriage will be tested during parenthood. Not afraid of how many “fun” nights I'll miss out on with friends. Not afraid that I'll have enough love to share for so many people who carry my soul. As a mom, your kids become your everything. But as a regular human being, my goal in life is to just be happy, and I am the happiest I've ever been. Thanks to Daddy and now the THREE of you. You have a crazy family waiting for you on the other side. Your sisters are amazing and sweet and hilarious and they already love you so much. We can't wait to see your little chunky cheeks and absolutely perfect face. My Immanuel.

Love, Mama

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