Everything is just a little bit easier this time around. Dad and I are more confident, less terrified, more able to enjoy and savor the fleeting moments of your first year. We don’t stress and obsess over every little detail like we did the first time.
Your baby book sits empty on your bookshelf, notes and memos and artwork from your daycare teacher stuffed behind the cover, to be organized later. I don’t know when “later” will ever come, with every waking moment occupied with necessary tasks and chores. But yet, I hold onto everything, including the hope that someday I’ll organize everything into a beautiful memento that I can look at when you leave home and tearfully remember every little detail of your first year. But the truth is, I have learned with you that it is so much more important to spend my time with you, being present and awake to your life, rather than setting stuff aside to process later. The good stuff comes in a flash and then it’s gone forever, and no amount of saving and sorting and cutting and pasting can bring it back. That’s why I’m trying so hard to be there and be ready when those glorious moments do come.
I don’t want a book full of memories. I want a heart full of them.
I long to hold you and dote over you every waking moment like I did with your brother. I don’t want to miss a single moment with my second, and last, baby. But I have to share my time with you in a way I never had to consider with your brother. I have to make sure he is feeling loved and acknowledged and ok. I can’t give you all my attention like I naturally long to do.
I knew everything would change when you were born. I worried and lost sleep over how our family dynamic would shift. I grieved my time with an “only child” and the unrivaled bond he and I shared. But when you arrived, our family grew and shifted and adjusted, and before long it was as if you had been with us all along. We shifted naturally, and you fit right in like you were always meant to do.
The bond that you and your brother already share melts my heart. He may feel a twinge of jealousy now and then, but he is the sweetest most supportive big brother you could have asked for. He loves to play with your feet and tickle your chin, and he somehow knows what you need before your Dad and I do. And he makes you laugh like no one else can. I love seeing your relationship developing and I am comforted to know that you will have each other long after I am gone. That’s what I always wanted for you both.