Flag of Surrender
“A first child is your own best foot forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out. You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world. But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after–oh, that’ s love by a different name.”
Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible
I’m not going to lie – This baby has a very special place inside my heart. Of course, all of my kids hold their own unique place in my memories, and yes, babies are squishy and undeniably irresistible, but still.
There’s something about the last.
I’m really cherishing the moments with Annika. I don’t feel emotional or sappy about her being my last. On the contrary, I feel like I can truly delight in her knowing that she will be my last baby. Last kid forever? Meh…I don’t know. I will never count out the option of adoption for our family.
But last newborn? Last baby to cut teeth and find her voice, and offer baby giggles when you make just the right sound? Yeah, she’s it.
I’m not in a hurry with this one. I’m taking my time, loving every minute I get with her (when she’s not screaming, of course), and I’m slowly figuring her out. I can’t pinpoint her personality just yet. She’s not quite as determined as her sister was, nor is she as fun-loving and happy as Landon. She reminds me of Sloan. Serious. Studying everything and everyone.
And when she decides she wants to give you a smile of encouragement, she does so. If you aren’t really that funny, though, she can make you feel like a bit of a tool for trying.
I’m just really looking forward to watching this one grow up. I know it will go fast – history has proven that to be true. But for now, in this moment, I’m just going to enjoy her. Each stage brings memories of the last three. Each milestone brings an excitement of the fun to come.
We didn’t plan on this one, but goodness, am I glad she’s here. She is my flag of surrender, and when she looks up at me with those big, inquisitive eyes, the burst of love is about all I can handle.
In a time when life feels unpredictable, I’m infinitely thankful for this last baby hurrah. She’s brought a love that is something fierce, and oh so sweet.