Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The missing child

Five and counting...

I have that nagging feeling again. The one that hits after I count the brood--even after all five are mentally counted--it's a heart stopping feeling, for just an instant, that someone is missing. All parents know it in its usual form, where there's a face immediately attached to it on the heels of a burst of panic. Like when a child isn't brushing her teeth in the bathroom with the rest of them, and I know instantly who hasn't been accounted for--Sissy!--and soon discover her already asleep, one shoe on and one shoe off, on top of her covers.

This missing child feeling is the feeling that hits, facelessly and namelessly when all the children are safely tallied--someone isn't here. It's someone I don't know yet. Some families experience this anonymous feeling of missing a child as an invitation to have another one. For us? It's likely an invitation to begin fostering again. Our house is very close to being ready for us to accept another blessing, but not quite yet. We have a few more details to take care of in the renovations.

My heart is already ready. I miss this person. My arms are ready to receive her in her first hug, or him, or them. Every time I count to five, when we load up in the van, when we start a meal, when I kiss heads at night, I miss this person I haven't met. Where are you, honey? I'm here.

My husband has been feeling it, too. The other day, at dinner, I saw his eyes sweep the table in a mental count, before his eyes met mine.

"Missing baby," he said.
"Yeah, me, too," I answered. 
We both smiled, then I sighed, and he squeezed my hand.

Only the two of us would understand what we mean, that we are both experiencing that invitation to make ready for the next child. My husband is working on the renovations, and I'm working on patience. Even my youngest, upon finding that the baby potty she'd recently graduated from was missing from the bathroom this morning, remarked mournfully, "We need another baby, mommy!"

I know that feeling.

...room for more...


  1. I know that feeling all too well...my arms ache to hold another newborn baby and my womb longs to feel those baby kicks. We're just praying and waiting on Father for His timing.

    1. I had second thoughts about posting this, my friend. I knew it would touch on this for you. It's an ache we share, so I knew you'd know how I embraced each of our dear, absent ones before I hit the "post" button.

  2. This is just a lovely post. Hearts like yours are such a blessing to this world. Thanks for sharing. God bless your family!

  3. Kathy, my children are such a blessing to me I can't take any credit for blessing anyone else. You know what I mean? Thank you, though!

  4. I feel the same way. I have two sons and since my youngest was born i have been feeling like im missing a daughter. My husband does not feel the same way though. I wonder if this feeling of missing a child will go away?

    1. I don't know, Anon. Even the question makes my heart ache...