Every Sunday evening, in preparation for the next morning, I lay out three sets of clothing.
I set three bowls and three spoons on the table, ready for the morning's oatmeal.
I dig through the storage baskets for three pairs of mittens, three hats, and three scarves, and lay them out with three snowsuits.
In the morning, I'll hear one little voice singing, "Happy burday!", "Baa baa baa" (to the tune of Baa Baa Blacksheep), and "Jude! Juuuude!" Soon, two other little voices will join, creating a trio of music that brings me to full consciousness. Their door opens, and I listen to their sweet interactions; Violet encourages Margot to take her hand as they set off in search of mommy, Jude telling them to wait while he goes pee.
It was a bit of a surprise when we found out about this bonus third child. Three tips the balance; you're officially outnumbered. As a friend of mine (and mother of five) said when I told her we were unexpectedly expecting again, "In parenting math, three is twice as many as two". Wise words, indeed, from one who knows.
I'm busy. These mornings of getting three kids in snowsuits out the door are sometimes harrowing, but increasingly rhythmic and peaceful. Two are dropped off at the daycare, one comes with me to school. For a few days a week, they are 2+1. But two plus one always equals three, and to me, three is a blessed number.