You have been ours for over a year now.
And while I had so much to say about your brother’s first year, I have less to say about yours. It’s not that there are less words but they are held closer to my chest. I don’t need to explain or prove every nuance to you because now I know who I am as a mother. You really benefit that way. And maybe it’s me, maybe it’s you- it’s probably both, but you are relaxed and flexible in a way I didn’t know a baby could be. I appreciate that. We needed someone to pull us together by coming along.
Some families come home with a new baby and there is jealousy or anger. I’m grateful that we didn’t experience that. Your brother loves you fiercely. He says you are best friends and that when you two grow up, you’ll each get houses across the street. I agree. You do too. You follow him around the house with your heavy sideways steps all day. When you reach him, you pet him and coo, “Brother” or “Lee Lee”; although, sometimes you pull his hair or try to shove your thumbs in his eye sockets. S You spend your day walking the house, stepping over and over and over the ledge of the baby gate, sucking your middle fingers, and playing “boom” ( you always expect someone to catch you). You love the outside and throw temper tantrums over the slide. When Daddy gets home from work, you toddle to him with calls of “Daddy, hullo!” Sweet Boo- the sound of your voice in the morning is a sweetness I adore. Your “good morning” or “Hullo” warms me enough to make me forget the 817 times you woke me up the night before. You walk through the house singing and identifying everything from elephants (“elah”) to “book” to “tissue”. Your smile when you do something hard and new bursts me wide open. And when you shout , ” I did it!” my pride matches yours.
Even writing this, I want to stop. Because your brother is at school and you are napping and I could be holding you. I guess that’s the thing: it feels like there is less time with you. Because all day long I’m divided between two boys who live in my heart. But I know that you won’t curl into me forever. That soon, your head won’t tuck onto my shoulder when your legs wrap around my waist. Sometime in the near future, you won’t look to me to verify every new thing before you evaluate it for yourself. And my heart, I don’t want to miss anything. I don’t want to overlook opportunities to hold you and play with you and talk to you, just to write down how important it was to hold you, and play with you and talk to you.
The doing is more important than the talking. I learned that through your brother; I had to talk a lot because I needed to convince myself I was doing okay. But now I know we are. We are good parents. And we mess up and we fix things and then we do it all again. But I’d rather be doing than talking.
I’ll try baby, try to write things down, try to record your moments. But know if there aren’t essays to wax poetic about your many achievements and tender times, it’s because I was choosing to be next to you instead of in front of a screen.