Thursday, February 17, 2011

on brothers and sisters, boys and girls

Here’s the thing, I’ve always known that I wanted to be a mom.  The first time, I desperately wanted to have a little boy, I really did.  I never admitted that, because I didn’t want to be one of those parents, who for even a second wasn’t happy at the news of their child’s gender.  Would I have adored a little girl? YES… but did I very much want a son?  Oui.    It’s probably because I have a big brother and I think they are important, even though mine has spent half of his life with his face in a book and I had to teach him how to talk to girls.  He’s pretty great.  So, I was delighted to receive the news on that day that we were having a little boy.  He changed my life and no one could ever replace him.

Just as much as I wanted to have a boy, I desperately hoped I wouldn’t be one of those people who had 6 boys before finally giving birth to a sweet baby girl.  Oh brother, (pun intended).   I have always wanted a little girl too, kind of like I always wanted a sister.  When I was four, I used to make my poor, younger, tortured brother wear my dresses and play dolls with me.  We also  played cowboys &  Indians with him and give him highly unfair rules.  For example, if we shot him with our gun, he died, but if he shot us, his bullets wouldn’t kill us.  Pretty much he always lost.  We always won. The end. He cried to mom, what a baby.  Being the third child must have been tough.  When the fourth child was born in my family and my parents called from the hospital announcing that I now had three brothers, I locked my five year old self in my room and cried. True story.  I didn’t even want to see him when they came home. Don’t worry, 20 years later, I’m over it. I think he is too.  So, I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and God made my parents have another child (because of my prayers), and at last, a sister for me!

Happily,  I didn’t have to have six boys before having a baby girl.  This little lady has been in my arms for three weeks now and I’m just mad about her, I mean, head over heels. It’s rather difficult to find the words.  And before you start to feel sorry for my shaggy-headed train-loving two-year-old, it’s not that I love her more, it’s just different.  I’ve been working on the words for the past few weeks and I think I finally figured it out.

When you have your first child, it’s all new and exciting and you really have absolutely no idea what you are getting yourself into.  Instantly, your heart turns to mush and that squishy bundle changes your life.  You watch them grow and get excited about rolling over, crawling, first words, sleep, and hearing them say, “mama”. 

The second time around, you might think it’s less magical, because you sort of know what to expect, but it’s the complete opposite.   All of a sudden, that baby is in your arms and you can’t for the life of you believe that you have the capacity for such love again.  I mean, those moments, those first seconds, they sweep you off your feet, feeling vaguely familiar but altogether brand new.   Strangely enough, even though you’ve been preparing for their arrival, you never saw this coming.  You can’t imagine loving another child like you do your first, but instantly,  it’s like you’ve always loved this one too.   How amazing that it this is possible, that it is actually real, another perfect little baby, your baby, and you get to keep this one too. 

But this time, you have the wisdom to know that all too soon this little one will be climbing on the coffee table and jumping onto the couch (not that anyone in this home does such wild things, no never…) and refusing naps and asking to watch Cars AGAIN.  So, you squeeze them a little tighter and cuddle them a bit longer.

And you are very aware that little miss three weeks is already looking older than she should.

And you get annoyed at how other people ALWAYS say, “They grow up so fast, enjoy each moment.” 

But really,  it’s too fast, way too fast, however, you didn’t hear that from me, because I would never say that.


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