Recently a friend of mine asked, "what is the most overwhelming thing about having three kids?"
I took a few minutes to think.
My first inclination was to answer without a second thought, "keeping tabs on all of them," which you might not think is too difficult a task when the youngest of the bunch sleeps the majority of the day. The truth is the baby is the easiest of the bunch. Sure he requires a good bit of work keeping him fed, dry and diapered, but it's the older two that require more interaction. More work and forethought is put into keeping them entertained so that boredom doesn't set in and send them swinging from the Roman shades.
Regardless of who requires the most work though, I have noted that the only chances I get to sit down and put my feet up during the day are when I nurse the baby, handfuls of minutes here and there that I could not be more grateful for if I tried.
But then I thought about it some more and what's been perhaps the most overwhelming thing about having three kids is the steady stream of love, support and hot meals that have poured in from our friends and neighbors. Call it postpartum hormones but I've been brought near to tears on a number of occasions as friends showed up with overflowing Tupperware squares in exchange for a hug and a few minutes of baby snuggles.
These friends know better too. They didn't ask permission, they just acted. Some of them called and some of them texted to see if we would be around and within hours there would be a knock at the door. A huge smile. Comfort food in tow. A delivery pizza. A bottle of wine.
If you knew me, you would know that I shy away from this sort of stuff- this doting and extra help. If you were to ask me, "do you need a hot meal?" of course I would say no. I would say that we were just fine and thank you for the offer, not wanting to "put you out," but these friends and neighbors know better. They've shown up on our doorstep with casseroles and quiches. Soups, stews, cinnamon rolls and cookies galore.
They've not only fed our hungry bellies but they've warmed our souls.
I've come to realize very quickly that these hot meals are so much more than just dinners. I want so badly for our friends and neighbors to know just how grateful we are for them. These meals have given our brand new family of five respite from grocery shopping, prepping meals and slaving away in the kitchen. Instead that time has been much better served getting to know our newest little family member.
Sitting and snugging on the couch. Counting his long skinny fingers and kissing his teeny tiny baby toes. Spending time watching the Big Brothers assimilate into their new roles almost seamlessly. Watching them love their brand new baby without fear and without reservation.
I've spent this time soaking in as much of my family as possible. Watching my husband hold our tiny brand new son in his arms. Watching how he so carefully cradles him in his hands and kisses his forehead. Soaking in these moments, taking mental snapshots and making sure to commit them to memory forever and ever.
Comfort food. Now I know why they call it this for we have been so comforted by it. When you bring something as simple as a lasagna to a family that just welcomed a brand new baby, you're not bringing them "just a meal." You're bringing them so much more than that and for that, we are so, so incredibly grateful.