Three years, 7 months, 18 days (and counting): this is how long the Oddnivore and I have been together. It has been a good run.
Shortly after the Oddnivore was born, I thought to myself (and said to my husband), I want to give O. everything. I don’t want to diminish in any way what he gets from us. How can I even think of having another child?
I know that any parent of multiple children is reading this thinking (I am now reading this thinking), Oh, you poor stupid woman. Don’t you realize that love grows? That your heart will necessarily expand to make room for the Little Beings that follow after the First One?
I am indeed a stupid woman (this is beside the point), but, yes, I have come to certain realizations. Perhaps such a mental impulse as the one expressed above is initially present in a parent to prevent that deluge of love for one’s offspring from putting one in a fiscally irresponsible situation (mein Gott! they are just like rabbits!), because what, if anything, is more loveable and desirable than a sweet newborn? So we are inclined to fear further offspring for a set period of time for our personal sanity, safety, etc. etc.
I love the Newcomer contextually and actually. I love her in terms of what I know it is like to love a child, because I love the Oddnivore. I anticipate her in terms of what I know the Oddnivore did at this-or-that age, of what this-or-that felt like. In this way I already adore her. I love her actually (would many language-irreverent moderns say “I literally love her”?) for the moment I first heard her heart beat; for the mid-pregnancy ultrasound during which we first glimpsed the contours we could label her head, her nose, her knee; for the kicks to my ribs; for the sleepless nights caused by her perpetual motion; for the heartburn bubbling in my throat as she pushed upward, growing, inserting herself into the way I thought about each day and how I would conduct myself (Yes: I WILL get up from bed and get the Tums….)
I am taking away the Oddnivore’s solitude by bringing the Newcomer into his life. I am sliding him left of center, though I reposition his universe without moving him. I am to him a Copernicus, rearranging our personal sphere with my theories about the relationships of its parts.
Unlike Copernicus, I am publishing pre-death (in my modest way) thoughts on this galactic repositioning. I suspect my children’s lives will be, unwittingly, an exercise in urging me to recant what I write here. I have notions about the nature of this two-sun universe, but a course in the science behind this tenuously balanced, dual-centered thing is one I am only just beginning.
[One final word: I admit the tardiness of this post–I began it the evening of the Newcomer’s due date (June 9), originally a sort of homage to what was and what will be changed, and I didn’t finish it until today, over a month since the Newcomer’s three-days-late birth…. Clearly, the change is real; our new celestial body can pull me from even my best intentions.]