To my second child…
As I sing him to sleep tears of overwhelming joy fill my eyes and make their way down my face. He falls asleep, this time with my hand on his back and my voice in his ear, and not by my bosom. It’s hard to believe he has weaned completely just before his third birthday. It’s bittersweet. As I look at his tired face, peaceful and at rest, I remember the journal I filled with love letters over time for his big sister. I often wonder why I never quite get to filling his as much as I did hers, even after three years. But tonight, I come to the realization that this little man has left me speechless in so many ways. I’m amazed at the relationship we have, to know that another human being who will one day be a man can love me so much. I live for his hugs and kisses, and I melt when calls me, “mommy.” I often joke that he has a bad case of second child syndrome, but he is loved just as much as his big sister. Yes, things may be different. We may not have huge birthday parties and we may not have enrolled him into as many extracurricular activities as we did with our first, but you better believe he has a huge place in all our of hearts.
There’s Enough Love to Go Around
I used to wonder how I could ever love another child more than my first, until I had my second, my boy. There truly is something special about a bond between a mother and her son. I am not ashamed to say he’s a mama’s boy! I love both of my kids. I am blessed to say that I have a favorite girl and a favorite boy. And though I love them all the same, I also love them differently. It may be confusing to you, but it makes complete sense to me. Growing up as the oldest of four kids I learned that everyone has their own needs, everyone has their own preferences, their own flaws….as parents we can’t always address them exactly the same. Besides, kids at different stages have different needs. It’s a constant adjustment, but no one said it would be easy. The point is, there is enough love to go around. Anyone or anything for that matter that you hold in your belly for 9 months and comes out looking at you like you’re the best thing that ever happened to them is precious.
Facing My Fears
I admit, I had my fears about having baby #2! I was worried for my daughter. I was worried about our finances, mostly my daughter. I was afraid that our relationship would change. I cried for her, I was already missing the fact that it would no longer be the three of us. On the other hand, a part of me was excited to think that she’d give Daddy a chance to care for her, but deep down I worried that she would forget about me and become a real Daddy’s girl. I worried that she would feel left out; that she would think I loved the baby more than her. I can go on about my fears, but as my belly grew, she accepted the life changes. After naming him Goofy the idea of a baby brother slowly grew on her just like my belly grew on me. She kissed it, she talked to him and she even bought him things. In those moments I knew he was the lucky one, because he wouldn’t just have me and Daddy to love him, he would have his amazing big sister to love him too.
Unfortunately many of my fears came to fruition, but I think many of you can relate. I had several conversations with my daughter trying to explain why her brother needed constant attention, why I had to run to him when he cried and why it was his turn to drink Mommy’s chi chi. I tried to explain to her that this is exactly how things were when she was a baby. Toddlers don’t grasp that concept very well, but it was a good starting point. I felt like a bad mom because at times I couldn’t get through to her. That’s when I learned the importance of Mommy-Daughter dates.
Facing those fears head on was a challenge. I cried a lot. I still do. And believe it or not, I have new fears. Fear that my son will look at his journal and ask why I didn’t write him as many letters as I did his big sister. Fear that he will think I love her more because she was first and we celebrated her real and her half birthdays with elaborate themed parties. One day I will have to face those fears too, or maybe it won’t bother him. Maybe he won’t go there because his needs are different, or his way of looking at life is different. Maybe he has all he needs. Parents never know until the kids are grown. Maybe he’ll already understand. After all I did attempt to take him to a group class that I’m pretty sure he hated. Deep down I knew it, but I wanted so bad for him to love it. Maybe I was trying to alleviate my mom guilt. I’m sure that’s it, but it didn’t help either of us.
Either way, if he does ask me, I will gladly explain to him that I love him just as much. I will tell him how much fun we had taking his big sister to school and then hanging out to play for hours because he didn’t want to leave. How he couldn’t sleep without me, and how I never wanted him to stop breastfeeding, I only stopped for 10 days because I was on medication and didn’t want to hurt him. I will tell him about our special trips to the lake where we would feed the ducks and how we snuck out late at night to watch the race cars at Miramar Speed Circuit. I will tell him that I spent sleepless nights staying up with him snacking, watching TV and playing instead of writing in that journal because he was a night owl ever since he was in the womb. I will tell him that I loved the wrinkles under his feet and the way he held up the number two on his fingers. I will let him know how much I loved watching him play by himself and with his sister. I would tell him how hard it was to get mad at him because he was just so cute. How when he laughed his little fangs would pop out the corners of his mouth. I will tell him how crazy he was as a baby, and how crazy I was to love it all, every minute of it. I could go on…bye, bye 2!
Happy Birthday, Little Man
Just as I haven’t written him as many letters, I haven’t written nearly enough about his stories on the blog. He really does keep me on my toes. I can’t express enough how much I love my handsome, handsome boy. He has rocked our world in so many amazing ways. I can’t imagine life without him. Three years flew by but I am grateful to have witnessed most of it as a stay-at-home mom. I wouldn’t change it for the world. Thank you to God and Daddy for making it possible.
I will say that I’m sorry if you ever feel like you get the short end of the stick. I’m sorry for interrupting your nap time and for feeding you too many sweets. I promise I will do my best to be present for you all the days of my life.
Happy Birthday, my handsome, handsome boy! We are so proud of you in every way. May your light always shine bright and may you always know how loved you are. May God bless you with a life filled with joy, adventure, passion and more love than you can handle. Don’t ever believe that coming in second was a disadvantage. You are right where you’re meant to be and we love you so, so much! Happy Birthday, big boy! Cheers to mighty morphing to a 3 year old! Just remember you will always be my baby.