It’s not long now that your world, and ours, will be forever changed.
And I am scared for you.
Many of our kind, well-meaning friends and family members try to tell me not to worry, that you are probably still young enough that eventually, you won’t even remember life before your little brother.
Here’s the thing.
I hope you do.
I hope you remember us chasing garbage trucks all the way around our neighborhood just to get a closer look. I hope you remember assembling massive train tracks in the living room, building sofa forts, and picnic lunches spent watching trucks at the construction site. I hope you remember the slow, unrushed mornings spent at the library, or visiting the toy store, or walking to the park, and spending so many rainy afternoons reading book after book after book snuggled on the couch, simply because we had the gift of time.
Every afternoon, when we arrive home from our morning activity for your nap, we pull into the garage and you say the same thing: “I want to finish this song in the car, in the garage, just the two of us.”
It kills me, that you always say it that way. Just the two of us.
Do you understand better than I think, what is really about to happen?
Since I got pregnant, I’ve had moments of being able to step outside and see our daily life, the two of us, in a bubble. I see it as my future self, a mother of two, and I already feel a longing for these simple, fleeting days we still have together. If you are lucky, you will experience this feeling as an adult and better understand what I’m likely failing to describe. It’s the knowledge that this time of your life can never, ever again be recreated, and you are keenly aware that this moment is precious and finite and irreplaceable. By definition, this is every moment of your life. But it’s those few times when you’re fully conscious of it that are such a gift. If I am honest with myself, I have only had this feeling twice before: I had it the summer when I was 18, before I moved away to college, when I reveled in the knowledge that I would never be so young and carefree again. And I had it moments leading up to your birth, when I realized that the continuum of my life would forever be divided into two parts: before motherhood, and after.
And I am having it now.
Life will never be the same.
I hope we have given you enough time. I hope you weren’t rushed from your babyhood. I hope you will continue to thrive in the security that comes with knowing that you were the first. You were the first to delight us with your cleverness and sensitivity and energy. You were the first to teach us about patience and commitment and a raw, unconditional, frighteningly pure love. I hope you remember this, how you made us into a family.
But if you don’t remember, I will. And while I struggle to see how another child could ever be so adored, I take comfort in knowing that these moments of consciousness have always preceded momentous and joyous change; what lies ahead has somehow been even better than what I’ve left behind. It is my hope, and your father’s, that the changes ahead will ultimately be one of our greatest gifts to you.
You have shown me the power of a mother’s love, so I dare not doubt it now. That love is greater than any fear I have about our future. For this and so much else, thank you.
The first time I nursed in public I was gifted a really cute nursing cover when I was pregnant with my first kid. For the two and a half years he nursed, I used it *maybe* five times. It’s a no-brainer that that sucker is sitting in the donation box right now. Here’s why I […]
Photo courtesy of Becca Howell Photography Motherhood has been full of surprises so far. Among them is the rather impressive truck education I have received in the last year or so, since my son began to live and breathe everything trucks, trucks, trucks. Though I have consciously tried not to limit G’s interest to any one […]
May 17, 2015 I was in bed all last week with the stomach flu. Today is the second day I’m feeling better. I lie in bed and realize it’s a bit early, but I could technically take a pregnancy test today. I don’t feel pregnant. I begin pondering the possible results of some testing Matthew […]
Dear Gray, I haven’t felt compelled to write much in this last year or so, because writing is a form of therapy for me and frankly, in your first year (and a half, or two), I needed a lot of therapy. Lately? Not so much. But it occurred to me recently that if I don’t […]
I don’t know if it’s genetics, personality, or something I did wrong with baby-led weaning, but Gray isn’t “in” to food the way I hoped he would be. Indeed, some of his favorite foods are very healthy (lentils, eggs, any fruit, spinach, raw carrots and bell peppers are his current favorites), but to me his […]
When Gray was about ten weeks old and nursing every hour, I called my mom crying that he wouldn’t even go to my husband long enough for me to shower and dry my hair. “Just wait,” she said. ”Just wait until the first time he cries and wants his daddy. It will knock the wind […]
Gray and I are newly enrolled in a fantastic toddler/parent ed class at our local community college. It was something we kind of fell into while registering for another class, and it is just amazing so far. Today during class, the teacher called for a period of “silent observation.” The entire concept was new to […]
I am happy to share that I have joined the team over at Daily Mom as a contributing writer! My first post went live this week, and it’s on a topic y’all know I hold near and dear: childbirth! I hope you will click over and check it out!