"Do you ever think your heart isn't big enough for a baby?"
THE OPPOSITE OF MAYBE
by Maddie Dawson
I deflect with smiley answers like, "Oh, one's enough for now!" Or, "She's just so perfect, I don't want to push our luck!" Or, "We'll see what fate has in store..." But the truth is, I am not convinced that I could fully handle another child. I don't know if my heart is big enough for a baby.
Our four-year-old is one of the kindest, funniest, most genuine people I know. She is full of love and light, and she owns so much of my heart. I love her entirely, in a way I have never before loved anything or anyone. Anyone who knows me well knows that I love with abandon. I open my arms and heart to so many people - and it makes for quite a full and joyous life. But the rare and overwhelming kind of love I have for my daughter is... well, overwhelming. It's not just that I love her, it's that she is a part of me. Elizabeth Stone said that to have a child is to "have your heart go walking around outside of your body." I never really knew the feeling of what she meant until I had our baby girl. And I cannot fathom how I would be able to handle twice as much of that feeling with two children. How would it not feel like splitting your own heart? What if I couldn't offer that same amount of overwhelming love to another little life?
It's hard to write these honest thoughts... and it may be hard for people to read them. I question this feeling inside of me each and every time someone asks if we're "gonna try for another one." There's not an easy answer in there. But when I read that line in Maddie Dawson's novel, The Opposite of Maybe, I felt a familiarity in the question: "Do you ever think your heart isn't big enough for a baby?"
Maybe a year ago, our daughter started saying "I love you too much" instead of "I love you so much." Now we repeat it daily. It's innocence makes me smile - the funny confusion of language that can suddenly mean something else entirely. But it's the weight of that simple sentence that sticks with me each time I hear myself say it to my little one.
I am certain that I have a very big heart... and yet, I still wonder.
For more quotes collected from this book, and others, visit Borrowing Wisdom.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Maddie Dawson's The Opposite of Maybe to read and discuss as a member of the online book club From Left to Write. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own. Click here to purchase your own copy of this novel.