My Mama had nine children. I am the youngest. The fact that I exist in this world at all is not a small miracle. I see it all now, like the iconic scene in It’s a Wonderful Life, where Mary is closing up the library. A world where I don’t exist. My husband is scorching himself a grilled cheese with curry powder and jalepeños in his tiny house in the middle of nowhere, listening to music or podcasts, just home from who knows what kind of work. There are no children around his table. None of the soft, sweet smiles that only the faces of his babies can bring out in his eyes.
All of our children, unrealized dreams. Their faces, unpainted portraits. Their voices songs unsung.
I want to live. I want to add my voice to the music of this world. I want to share my husband’s life and walk beside him as he is becoming so much more than the man I married. I want to see that look in his eyes. I want our children to be. I want the world to be more alive with the animations that make their little bodies go. I want them to translate the experience of life into something that is better than worse and richer than poor. Less bitter. More sweet.
I am so grateful to my beautiful, brave Mama who opened herself up to another child so many times. I am thankful for the room of her womb, where we all slept and were nourished and kept safe and well and in God’s will for the days leading up to our births. And I am so thankful that she chose to have one more, so that I could do the same.