In the weeks right before you were born I was overwhelmed by a sudden and unexpected fierce sense of loyalty toward your big sister, Belle. I would lay awake at night and wonder how on Earth I would love you both the same. Belle was the tiny person who changed my whole life. Because of her, I quit my career — one I’d built for 10 years and was proud of. I dropped everything and became a stay at home mom so I could make sure to not miss one single minute with her. Three years went by and I never missed a minute. Not one. But you were coming into the world and I just couldn’t wrap my head around dividing my heart in half for both of you girls. Everyone said it would happen — that all moms have enough love in their hearts for each of their kids. But that’s not what happened at all.
On the day you were born I grew a whole other heart just for you. As it turns out, it’s the one thing that didn’t get divided in two. Everything else did though. My time. My brain. My attention span. My patience. It all got cut in half and lately, I’m feeling bad about that.
I look at you now and you’re 18 months old. How did that happen? How is time really moving THAT fast? The days and months are just blurring together and your babyhood feels like it’s slipping through my fingers like sand. I know you’re the last baby my body will ever carry. You’re the last baby that will be half me and half your Dad. I’ve known that since the day you were born and yet, it hasn’t helped slow things down at all.
Part of me does know how we got here — to this place of disbelief. And it’s because those early days of you as an infant were hard. You were the easiest baby in the whole world. I thought your sister was an easy baby, but you broke the mold. Yet, despite your ease and adorably happy disposition, those early days were hard because I was sad a lot. I was sad about the pain I was in from the complications of having a c-section. I was sad because of hormones. Let me tell you, the Baby Blues are real deal, earth-shattering sad. The kind of sad that makes you just cry all over yourself while you try to do a simple task like pouring a glass of water. And when the tears stopped and the hormones evened out, I was sad that it ever happened. And I was mad at my body for making those horribly sad hormones to begin with. There was a lot of sad and mad in those early months.
[In] the beginning, I was constantly wondering how your sister was adjusting to life with a new baby. I felt like I was putting her needs and emotions first when it should have been the other way around. She was going to preschool, so your schedule was basically non-existent because we were at the mercy of her schedule. You just blended right [into] our little pre-existing family from day one and I think because of that, you and I missed out on our time together. But I guess that’s not entirely true, we didn’t actually miss out on it — we had a lot of alone time together — I have the pictures to prove it. Maybe it feels like we missed out because it’s never really just me and you. It’s me and you for a few hours while we wait for your sister to get home from school. And even when we are alone, my brain never stops thinking about Belle.
You see, when Belle was born it was only me and her. All day every day. I had to learn how to be a mom and how to pass the time and how to feed her and teach her and nurture her and entertain her and help her grow and thrive. By the time you were born, I’d already figured most of that out and I already had one kid to take care of every day, so you just did what we did, went [where] we went, and the days ticked by.
Maybe being the second baby is just different and I should have gauged my expectations and realized sooner that it wouldn’t be the same as the first time around? I don’t know because this is my first time being a mom to a second baby. But still, I can’t seem to fight this feeling of uneasiness and the feeling that I’m not giving you all of my time and attention like I did your sister.
Here’s what I do know: that second heart I grew just for you has a newfound sense of fierce loyalty. To you, my second and last baby. We don’t have much time left before you’re off to school just like your big sister. I want you to have the time with me that she had. I want the day to day adventures of trying to find the next best playground and soaking up all the couch naps and play-doh playing we possibly can. So from now on, I promise to do my best to not be distracted by the unimportant stuff that takes up our alone time — like groceries and errands and dishes. The stuff that clouds my vision and makes it hard to see how fast this season is flying by and how quickly you’re learning and growing.
From now on, I promise to look at our world through Rosie colored glasses.