I don't know if I will ever be bringing home another living baby. I don't know if I will ever get to swaddle another newborn or cheer on an infant taking it's first steps into toddlerhood. I don't know if I will be able to pour my heart into tot schooling another child or if the boxes upon boxes upon boxes of Ethan's old clothing will continue to sit in storage or find themselves being worn by another sibling down the line. I don't know and, like any good control freak, the not knowing makes me anxious and clammy and stressed out.
What I do know is, there is no stopping people from referring to Ethan as an only child. While technically he isn't, as I am his mother and my body carried and birthed another child, I understand. I understand that he does not know what it means to share parental attention or toys with anyone who lives under his roof and that day in and day out, he is the shining star of our universe.
It's the word only that gets under my skin.
There is no only. Maybe one day we will bring home another living child. Maybe we won't. Regardless of how many children are in our holiday photos at the end of each year, there is still no only. It isn't only Ethan. He isn't an only child. You see, I gave birth to Ethan but it was him who began my life.
I have spent every waking moment of every day with Ethan since the day he was born. He is this magnificent force of intensity and beauty and wonder, this full throttle four year old ball of energy and curiousness and life. He is the life sewed onto my bones, the purpose in all of this. He is the hope and the future and the only thing that makes sense at the end of the day. When he sleeps, it is his soft breaths that bring me to tears because this? This is love. This is love at it's deepest.
There are the days that I can only watch him in wonder, that I can only bask in his beauty, his wisdom and wonder how. How am I so lucky? How do I get to watch this amazing child grow up and blossom as he continues to do before my very eyes? There is never any only. It is never only Ethan -- but Ethan, my yellow bird, my shining star, my motivation to do and be and see everything that this world has to offer. I stay up at night sometimes piecing together our adventures from years past and realizing that every day is in itself an adventure. He is my adventure. Being his mother is the greatest honor, watching him grow and morph into this smart, sweet, headstrong little boy is a gift that surpasses priceless even on our hard days, our long days.
My life is navigated by this whirlwind of a child, this inquisitive and compassionate little boy who has taken everything I know about life and bettered it to the point where even the most mundane days feel surreal.
You see, he is everything.
No matter what the future holds.