At the store the other day I was pushing around my daughters in my shopping cart as I gathered a few things on my grocery list. Inside my cart Maria was asleep in her car seat and Gianna was sitting up front. At one point Gianna turned around, noticed Maria was sleeping, and started rocking her back and forth saying, “Oooh Maria.” (I say this to Maria at times as I am comforting her). Moments like these make me feel as if the world has stopped for just a moment as my vision tunnels in on my two children. It is as if the love Adam and I share has overflowed out of my heart and I am seeing it in the form of my daughters. Our love incarnate interacting right in front of me.
“The great mystery of ‘the Word is made Flesh and dwelt amongst us,’ which was verified through her [Mary], now becomes reflected in the father and the mother, leaning over their newborn infant and saying, ‘Our love became flesh and dwelt amongst us’” Venerable Fulton J. Sheen.
When I was pregnant with Maria I never really worried about how I could possibly love both my children. I knew that God would give me the grace to love them both as well as to care for them. The world, however, will pose this question of how you could possibly love and care for another child. Let me tell you a little secret… After having Maria love has only increased within our family and home. In having a second child I am seeing that Gianna’s love for Maria provides her with more love than I alone could give to her (and vice versa). I am understanding more deeply that the fear of the older child not feeling loved or not being able to give the older child everything is just a lie. Siblings allow love to grow within a family, they don’t diminish it. God will always give us the grace to expand our hearts and grow in love. Love is not like a pie where you have to divide it amongst people and then it is gone. No, quite the opposite because Love is infinite! One of my favorite professors in college said that if there are four members in a family each family member doesn’t give 25% to the family. No, each family member must give 100% to the family! Each member is a gift to the rest of the family.
In having another child I am realizing that after I pass away my children will still have one another to love. As my family continues to grow so does our love and that is a beautiful thing. So when people say things to you like, “How can you love them all?” “Your hands are so full!” “Wow I could never do that!” Remember that each of your children will have more people than just you and your spouse to love them. They will have their siblings, extended family, friends, and maybe even a spouse and their own children to love them one day. Most importantly Jesus loves them more fully and unconditionally than anyone else ever will be able to.
Since becoming a mother I have found that I have grown to be more selfless. I have also noticed that after having Maria my little Gianna is learning the same thing. I watch as Gianna learns how to be more selfless in caring for her sister who is more weak and helpless than she is. Gianna is already learning some of the most important lessons in life just by having a sibling.
Right now my hands may be more full than they were before I was married, but they are filled with love and I wouldn’t have it any other way!