I had been waiting for Anne Lamott's latest book, Grace (Eventually), to come out in paperback. That never happened, and my patience wore out, and I sprung for the full price hardcover version. I adore Anne Lamott, and though I'm finding that I don't connect quite as well with this collection of essays as much as I did Traveling Mercies (my favorite), there are certain passages that hit me with that special recognition of someone who just gets it, and has the gift of putting it into words.
"This is the reason most first children get born: By the time it's too late to back out, you have already fallen desperately, pathetically in love with them. For too long, I had imagined holding him, smelling him, watching him grow; teaching him and reading to him, and walking and studying and resting and splashing around in the ocean with him, and comparing notes with him on the mean children in the park.
I loved him intimately, sight unseen. Yet when he lay on my chest for the first time, part of me felt as if someone had given me a Martian baby to raise, or a Martian puppy. And I had no owner's manual, no energy, no clue as to what I was supposed to do.
The other part of me felt as though I were holding my own soul."
While I can't confirm this for certain just yet, I think many of the same reasons apply to why second children are born, except that you also get to dream about the two of them playing and teaching one another, fighting and learning to make up. As much as I long to hold my son and behold the miracle of a new life, I am also anxious to witness the special new relationship that will begin when Claire walks in the door to greet her new brother for the first time.