I picked up the next book on my 12 in 12 reading challenge list and was immediately not a fan. It was not even kind of my cup of tea. To be honest, instead of just going to the library to find another book, I stayed on the couch (#realtalk) and browed our list of audiobooks for my next "read" (it counts).
Joel and I have shared an audible account on and off over the last year or so. We have taken turns using the book credit, but we have very different taste in books. It's pretty clear going through the list who chose what. But on this occasion, Ender's Game (the first in a sci-fi series with a strong focus on battle tactics... Joel's pick) appealed to me.
Ender lives in the future, when after an alien attack, the governments have imposed strict laws and the whole planet struggles under severe stress over a looming war. Many countries have rigid population control laws, limiting parents to only two children. Ender, however, is a "third." Because of his placement in the birth order, he is treated poorly throughout his childhood. Expectations of him are insultingly low, he is bullied at school, and given far less opportunities than his older siblings. Even his parents in some ways treat him lesser. He is brilliant, kind, compassionate, and just wants to be appreciated for being himself.
This broke my heart. I turned off the audiobook and complained to Joel, "It's not fair! It's not his fault he is a third! All he did was be born! They're looking past so much goodness in him because of the inconvenience. He goes on to accomplish amazing things, but it's so sad to hear him treated so poorly!" Joel agreed, reminded me it's just a book, and went back to whatever he was doing.
I haven't been feeling so good recently, but I assumed it was the heightened emotions from my brother's wedding, the stress of a long road trip with two under two, and trying to keep up with everything else at home. I've been getting much less sleep and paying much less attention to what was going into my body, which I know wasn't helping anything.
However, the morning after my conversation with Joel about Ender's Game, I put the pieces together. Turns out there was a much bigger reason why I was feeling a little off.
I'm not sure how to continue this post from here. We have always been open to having more children, but it was one of those things that we decided would be ultimately left in God's hands. We talked about growing the family, but at this point we weren't much past the "eventually when we forget about the details about our rough pregnancies and the newborn stage and we get some more things done on the house we'll talk about it again" stage. We were surprised and reeling with anxieties, doubts, and feelings.
After we had adjusted a little to the news, the irony of our conversation the night before sank in. We were scared, but that didn't change the fact that this baby is here and it is loved. This is new territory, and the changes from growing from two under two to a family with three under three is not lost on us. But we are ready to embrace the change (literally, in a few months!). It's going to be hard, but it's going to be beautiful.
And to our third born,
we can't wait to see all of the things you will do. We have a long road ahead of us, but know that we love you with all that we are, no matter what. You will accomplish big things, and we will be here every step of the way. We can't wait to meet you, Baby "Ender."