After George Mason died my sisters very carefully hid away all of the blatant triggers. All of the nursery got dismantled and baby clothes got hidden away. They tried to make sure that the stuff, all the reminders and pieces that accumulate when you’re having a baby, were there when I was ready but weren’t there until I was ready.  At some point (getting a house market ready kind of swung me into a state of “ready”) I had to start going through some of it. One of the things was a series of children’s books about bringing home baby and being a big sister. When my friends all started announcing their pregnancies I dug out those books and passed them on.

Well, in the process of moving, there was one “big sister” book that managed to be a little bit more hidden and has now shown up in Audrey’s book basket. It’s one of her favorite books. I think we’ve read it at least 4 out of the last 7 nights before bed. There was a time when I couldn’t have handled that. I would have broken down in tears and told her to pick a different book. But now, I’m finding myself ok with it. I don’t particularly long to or look forward to reading this book, but it has facilitated some sweet little discussions with Audrey Nole. Tonight as she carefully picked out her bedtime books, the big sister book found its way onto the list. “Read the baby book, Mama. It’s George Mason. A little girl is holding him” My mind tells her silently that the little girl was supposed to be her.

I asked her where George Mason went since he didn’t get to come home with us like the baby in the book. She thought about it for a second and then excitedly claimed he “went to heaven!” And when I asked her who he was with in heaven she said “Jesus and Grammy” Melt my heart... I told her how much George Mason loved her and that as much as he loved her there was someone who loved her more.

“Do you know who that is?” “Ummm..... I don’t know”

“Jesus. Jesus loves you so so much, Audrey Nole.”

“He died on the cross”

“Yes he did. That’s how much he loves us!”

“God needs to give me a sister. Ok mama?”

“You ask him, sweet girl. Just keep asking him.”

Moment over. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about growing our family. When it hit me on Friday that it had been 9 months since George Mason’s day I realized that as long as I had with him I’ve now had without him. And that on the very same day, we were 9 months from getting the doctor’s ok to try again. 9 months is the theme of this week. And 9 months brings up all those thoughts and desires about babies. I want more babies. We want more babies. This family needs more babies. Audrey clearly wants there to be more babies. But when I think about the reality of having more children, I’m honestly terrified. What if it’s another boy? What if this happens again? How will I survive an entire 9 months of worry and fear? How will I handle all of the firsts that should have been George Mason’s? All of those father & son moments that are so special? And then I quietly beg my caring Father to let the next baby be a girl. Because when I think about all the things that are going to be so hard about having another baby after losing a baby, I don’t feel strong enough to be mama to a little boy that is not George Mason. And then I feel guilty for asking for anything but a healthy baby. And then I feel silly for thinking that the strength I need to parent a baby born after George Mason is going to come from anyone but God.

Audrey asked God for a sister tonight in her prayers. She will likely ask again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. I’m going to let her keep asking. And as a friend told me so eloquently, we have a God who delights in giving His children the desires of their hearts. I’m going to hold on to that thought as we inch our way to that 18 month mark. I’m going to trust that God put the desire for more children on my heart and he’s going to delight in seeing me through however that plays out. If there are more babies,  I will be strong. If there are more boys, I will be strong. If there are more girls, I will be strong. Not because I am strong, but because God is the strongest and he is so gracious in his relationship with me. It’s a good reminder to myself to not be terrified of the what if’s. To trust that, just as He has proven time and again, God is not just off in the distance letting me figure this out for myself, but down in the trenches, leading the way.