Kismet on Consignment

Last month while browsing the consignment store in my hometown, I stumbled upon a small framed Peruvian textile, similar to one we have hanging in our bedroom. It was in a stack with dozens of other framed paintings and portraits, old photographs, dried flowers. I immediately grabbed it, checked its price ($11) and placed it under my arm for safe keeping.

My mom and I continued to shop - testing the comfort (and rockability) of different chairs before I decided on a white wooden rocker for the nursery.

I put the frame down, picked it up again, then looked at it, like really looked at it. There staring back at me were three girls and a boy, two of them resembling twins in matching/mismatched dresses. An hour in my hand and I hadn't even noticed.
I turned the frame toward my mom who joined me in a flashmob of tears in the middle of the store. She didn't know why we were crying at first.

"Look," I said. "What do you see?"

You know how sometimes things happen and they're so totally simple and yet, life-affirming... scratch that... life DEFINING. Standing in the middle of the store with my "four Peruvian children" and my she-who-cries-when-I-cry-even-when-she-doesn't-know-why-the-hell-I'm-crying mother was my moment, a convergence of fate and love (and hormones) and suddenly everything felt so completely right. Like overhearing a secret you already kind of knew, heard somewhere before. I thought about meeting Hal seven years ago, Archer, the year after that, how on October 2nd 2008, upon first hearing Fable's shrill cries, I turned to Hal and said, "We're not done. There are more."

It's so easy to look elsewhere, browse the aisles, create wish lists, make plans... Sometimes it takes a minute to realize that all you ever wanted was with you all along. Under your arm in a dusty old consignment store.

Sometimes you have to stare at an image for longer than two seconds to see the whole picture.

Look. What do you see?

The first thing I did when I got home later that night was nail the portrait to the wall in our dining room, under the mirror, where Hal agreed it seemed like it had been hanging all along.
And in a way, it had.



famousamy | 8:56 AM

And now I'm tearing up at work.. Even though my husband and I have sworn two is all we want.. I can't help but think there is at least one more we're meant to have. *sigh* We'll see.

Cave Momma | 8:57 AM

Damn you for making ME cry. Love it. All of it. Ok, gotta go wipe up my eyes before my kids ask me what's wrong.

Anonymous | 9:00 AM

EEK that's so sweet. I have 11 week old twin boys, so I'm excited to follow your journey! Twins are amazeballs.

molly | 9:00 AM

Oh, how I love this post. I soooo believe in fate. And this was your fate.

I also love how you looked at your husband and said "we're not done. there are more."

Lately, I've been feeling very deeply that I am supposed to have another child. But when I was pregnant with my second I swore it would be my last. I'm sorry but I just don't feel DONE. There is an aching in my heart and I am trying so hard to ignore it but every day my boys get bigger it pops up.

And it's not about "trying for a girl" which everyone asks me. It's about completing our family no matter what gender the third baby is.

I just feel it. Just like you did.


I love that I can see your (and Archer's?) reflection in the second photo.

~ Noelle

Amber, theAmberShow | 9:14 AM

Your mother is the coolest mother/grandma ever. I've never met her, but I love her.

Arnebya | 9:26 AM

All of y'all have ME tearing up at work. I adore that framed image. Three girls and a boy. So fitting. The sun is shining, the foliage looks lush, and the two girls are smiling. It's perfect.

Initially we'd said 4, then after the first we said 3, after the 2nd we said 2's enough. But we knew it wasn't. We've agreed that we aren't done. One more -- the fourth. Even amid the "are you crazy" or "why, you already have girls and a boy" questions. It's not about that. It's about our family's completness...completion. It's incomplete right now. We're not done. There are more. Well, at least one.

Erin | 9:28 AM

Love it!!!! And I love when the universe opens up and shows its secrets.

Elizabeth | 9:32 AM

This gave me chills! And word to Amber, your mom rules!

CP | 10:29 AM

that is so darn sweet and I'm on the bandwagon with the tears. I love that your mom starts crying even before she knows why. it is wonderful to have such great moms!

vickichristine | 11:00 AM

so amazing! i love, love this story. second hand things make life kinda great. it's like, the circle of life or somethang.

STACY | 11:01 AM

I was already feeling PMS-y and emotional today and now I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes! What beautiful words! And not because I can realate to the "we're not done" feeling that seems to be felt by most people, as I am truly happy and content with my one- a beautiful, healthy two year old girl. Yep, we are going to be a little family of three, which freaks people out, but oh well. Anyways, what a lovely post!

Anonymous | 11:14 AM

I love these posts and I think you are so lucky to have that kind of relationship with your mom. Although that would be kind of funny if at least one turns out not to be a girl!

Michelle | 11:34 AM

Not a coincidence - fate. It was meant for you at that particular moment.

Glenda | 12:37 PM

Yes! tearing up too. Love it! and I too believe in FATE! and your relationship with your mom will only be carried on with Fable and x2 girls :) Reminds me of the relationship I had with my mom (she has passed) and now I have with my daughter. Love that mother / daughter bonds!!! XO

Amelia | 12:49 PM

Those are the moments that make me so excited to be a human, and especially a woman...

It's not really in the same hug-from-the-universe vein, but I still get the biggest grin when I think about my preggos self ugly crying in the parking lot of Lowes while staring at a drying dot of yellow paint and wailing to my husband that I had no idea what this baby would like. He let me cry and I stared hard at that dot, and by the time I was clearing the snot and tears I knew that I was ready to mother this child. In fact, I would say that I fell in love with my little growing baby hugging a gallon of paint. Here we are so many years later and I just smile at the crazy way that things shake out. Congrats again on your family, mama...your cup runneth over. xo.

Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph | 4:27 PM

absolutely beautiful.


Emily | 6:22 PM

I'm swooning. And I know the feeling. My husband is making quesadillas while my son clangs away on his little pots and pans and I know - there are more waiting for us.

Sally | 8:08 PM

Rebecca I've been loving your words from afar (far far afar - Australia in fact) for some time but this post was particularly beautiful. My boys have a similar Peruvian textile up on their bedroom wall, and after reading your post it occurred to me to inspect it to see whether it held any secrets for us. Unfortunately our textile features SEVEN little kids on it... and there's no way ever ever ever I'm going down that path. So instead, I'm using your post as inspiration and getting my textile framed because it looks so darned good in that white frame. Thanks..

somuchtolove | 8:52 PM

Beautifully perfect.

Rebekah | 9:36 PM

The picture that it is similar to the one in your bedroom - have you posted that one before? The picture is beautiful!

Margie | 6:11 PM

Completely awesome.

Anonymous | 9:19 AM

i'm so happy you found that sweet little picture. what a way to make things feel "just right". i've really enjoyed following your pregnancy. we're getting ready to start trying for #2 and you give me courage to go for it, you're such a beautiful mother!

I'm So Pretty | 11:27 AM

I see 2 women and 2 children. Perhaps this belongs in a lesbian couples dining room.

Hespyhesp | 5:37 AM

Crap! Now I'm crying at work.

I've been struggling with the thought of not having another baby. I have one. My husband is older and has two from a previous marriage. They're already in their teens. I told him I only needed one, but I just feel like someone is missing still. I want Haeden to have his playmate, too. I want them to run through the house together laughing and carrying on. The only thing stopping me is money. I don't know how we could afford the childcare. I want what my heart wants, but my head says it isn't smart...

I sort of hope it just happens on accident... We aren't doing anything to stop it from happening, but then it took an actual year of full-on trying to make it happen the first time.


In the mean time, I'm really excited for you!

sam | 6:21 AM

Little Peruvian children! I need something like this. I actually have Peruvian children. My husband was born there. ;)

Stephanie | 6:40 AM

It's writing like this why I check your blog every single day. Great story!

Anonymous | 7:52 AM

That is just stunning. My God I love those little gifts from the Universe.

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife | 9:51 AM

So, I came to your blog to let you know that I added you to my blog roll, because I love your site. And then, I read this precious post and you make me cry! Geez.

How sweet...

The Mommy Therapy | 8:22 AM

Love it! Everything is exactly as it should be....

Shannon | 10:30 AM

Love it when stuff like that happens. I have been meaning to email you a link to these awesome wallpaper silhouettes. We had the tree in Eli's room in our old house and it was awesome. If you are still doing the funky jungle animals, these would fit right in.

Nicole | 10:05 AM

Add me to the list of ladies crying at work I'm so happy that you found this. I work at a consignment store myself and I see amazing things come in and out of here.