It's not that we didn't think we could love two, but would we love them equally? Because our love for Henry grows more each day. We naturally thought that we would love our second child, but we assumed it would fall lower on the scale-of-love (if you will) than the love we have for Henry.
We had no idea.
There aren't words to express the immediate overwhelming love we have for this sweet little girl, but let me share with you a story that might begin to illustrate it.
Saturday evening was the first time Matt and I had been alone with Harper since her birth. She was one-day old, and as she slept in her hospital crib, we sat wondering, "So what now?" I could tell that Matt was antsy. It was 7:30pm, and I asked him, "Whatcha thinkin'?" He said, "Well (anytime he starts a sentence that way it means he has something he wants to do but is hesitant about asking), I'd like to go shopping."
Strange, I thought. I did not marry a shopper. Unless shopping results in a new firearm, my husband wants nothing to do with it. Many moons ago, I teased (though his friends insist it wasn't a joke) that with every baby we have, Matt could get a new gun. For a split second I thought maybe he was going to approach me about this idea, but I knew better. Actually, I knew that he knew better. So I just looked at him.
He continued, "Well, I thought I'd get her a blanket. I haven't been able to get anything for her yet, and I know you want her to have a blanket." He was right. I want a swaddling blanket for her that isn't blue or brown. "Great," I said, "In fact, I have a Target gift card you can use."
The reality is that we are having to rethink our budget as we bring another baby into our home. Babies aren't cheap, and we are sacrificing one income so that I can be home with our children. It's worth every sacrifice (and then some), but it makes for a lot of creative shopping.
So off to Target he went.
One hour later he returned. Sans Target bag.
"So, what did you get at Target?"
"Well (again, this means he has some explaining to do), I didn't get anything from Target."
I just looked at him.
In short, my husband, the non-shopper, went shopping. Like real shopping. And he didn't even get a blanket. Rather he returned with a dress. A D-R-E-S-S! From the third store he stopped in. Apparently nothing was "good enough" at the first two stores. He said the dress was a "Harper dress." And it is. It screams Harper. It's perfect.
But the pricetag read $24.
Look, I don't need to justify our spending habits, but $24 for a tiny cotton dress that she will soil and grow out of in less time it took for me to write this post? No, thank you.
I expressed my concern.
He assured me, "It wasn't $24; it was on sale."
Better-ish. It wasn't on final-markdown-clearance sale (the kind of shopping that I like to do), but it was better than full price.
And can I just say that is the proudest $24 sale item my husband has ever bought? Honest to goodness, he was beaming as he showed me this dress. Beaming.
And so was I. My husband, the non-shopper, could hardly wait more than one day before proudly purchasing a dress (a dress!) for his baby girl. He is hopelessly smitten, and it moves me to tears.
Somehow God grew our hearts so that we would continue loving Henry even more each day while simultaneously loving Harper in such a way that we never thought we could.
And as I observe the father of my daughter, I'm awestruck at God's ability to fill my heart up even more with love for my husband. Watching Matt with our sweet girl has turned me into a weepy mess. She has snatched her daddy's heart, and I'm happy to let her have it.
God is crazy awesome. In less than 48 hours He has overwhelmed me beyond what I ever thought possible. Not only did He give me a heart for adoring two children and a precious husband, but I'm blown away by our family and friends who are loving and supporting us through this transition.
My parents have unconditionally cared for our sick son (Henry came down with croup over the weekend) as we spent time with our newborn. Matt's family will put more miles on their car and take more days off work in the next few weeks simply to give our family extra hands. My sister single-handedly bought out the entire pink side of Carter's. And our friends. Wow, our friends. They have overloaded our inboxes and mailbox with their words of encouragement, support, and sincere prayers. Not to mention hospital visits and an insane number of meal offers. Seriously, God? Seriously? You love my family this much? I can't even stand it.
As if all this wasn't enough to make me cry big-ugly tears as I type, my husband sent me right over my blubbery edge when he looked at me before bed last night and said, "I was going to pay $24 for the dress."
Of course he was.
Something tells me he didn't even see the pricetag on that dress. Because no matter what, it wouldn't have mattered.