"We are not born all at once, but by bits. The body first, and the spirit later; and the birth and growth of the spirit, in those who are attentive to their own inner life, are slow and exceedingly painful. Our mothers are racked with the pains of our physical birth; we ourselves suffer the longer pains of our spiritual growth." – Mary Antin
“Maaaaah” my youngest son hollered from his bedroom.
“What?” I replied
“We want to give you a hug and a tiss” he stated. He still has problems with the K sound.
“Well, surely. I have plenty of hugs and tisses for you guys!” I said as I entered their room.
“Who is first?” I inquired.
“Me!” screamed my excited four year old.
“No. I am first” said my eldest son “Oh, wait, no, I am not first. DAUGHTERS NAME is first”.
I was startled. He thinks so much about this stuff and comes out with it when I least expect it. Like at 9 pm on a school night in his darkened bedroom as hugs and tisses are being passed around.
I sat on his brother’s bed.
“Yes, she is indeed my first child but you are my first son. And you are the first child Daddy and I had together”.
“Yeah, that’s right” he says rather solemnly. “Will we meet her someday?” he asks.
“I hope so” I say.
I pause for a second and contemplate dropping the subject. Should I let him talk more or should I go back to doling out those tisses?
He appears lost in thought. Anxious about something. I start kissing his brother. Eldest gets out of his bed and tackles me and in a few moments we are all giggling and laughing and the thought of his birth order and his missing sister has passed.