When I was pregnant with Kody, my second son, I secretly wondered how I would be able to love another human as I’ve loved my James. I didn’t think it would be possible to love another as I love him… to give that much of myself to another person would be too much surely… Those of you with more than one child know how wrong I was. Yet, I’ve recently realized that even though I love my boys equally, I do not love them the same. Are those eyebrows raised yet? 🙂 Let me explain to you as I plan to explain to them someday when they will inevitably ask which of them I love more.
James, you were my first child. Everything about being a mommy I did with you first. The first heartbeat that wasn’t my own, the first little kicks, the first labor pains, the first cry of a little newborn in this big world, the first dirty diaper (boy was it a doozy), the first sleepless night, tooth, birthday party, all of it… it was you, kiddo. I never knew I could love like that until you came to be mine. You taught me more about myself than I ever dreamed possible. You helped me to understand that I can be a mother and a darn good one if I do say so myself. You made me a better wife, teacher, daughter– person. You are all of the good in me, and you bring so much good to my world. You look so much like your father, the only man I’ve ever loved like I do. You have my sense of humor. Yet, you were my guinea pig. I made all of my mistakes with you. For that, I’m sorry. To be honest, I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing. Your dad was so much better at the baby thing than I was… gradually I got good at it. But I spent a lot of time crying because I just knew I was doing it all wrong. Through the mistakes, you loved me. You never looked at me and said (or babbled) that you didn’t want me as a mommy. You always reached for me first. You still do. Now you’ve grown to be a such a wonderful young person. You aren’t a baby anymore. You have instilled so much pride in me. Everyday you surprise me with how sweet you are with your brother. How loving you are to us. How bright and active you are. I am forever realizing just how wonderful you are. For all of these reasons, I love you more than you will ever know until you are a parent, and for all of these reasons, I love you differently than I love your brother.
Kody, you were my second child. With you, it had all been done before, and as mundane as that may sound, there is a great amount of underestimated comfort in knowing what’s to come. I didn’t spend my pregnancy with you worrying about every bite I put into my mouth. I simply enjoyed the feeling of you in my belly, loved the sound of that heartbeat, dreamed of what you would be like, and counted those kicks and nudges from the inside. My biggest worry was whether or not I’d be able to take care of two kids at once… seeing as how you’re nearly 2 months old and as healthy as a horse, I’d say I’ve been successful so far. Everything (except for those 45 minutes of intense labor) has been easier with you. I already knew how to change a diaper. I’ve never tried to put yours on backwards. I knew how to make a bottle, and I remembered exactly how to swaddle. You have only known me as a veteran mommy. I’m sorry that your life hasn’t been closely documented with photos every few minutes and video footage of every sleepy smile. I didn’t spend my days on maternity leave by taking your photo every day, but I did spend a lot of time napping with you next to me, learning your cries, memorizing your first smile, admirining those brown eyes that look just like mine, finding out what little nooks and crannies there are to your personality. There may not have been a grand baby shower thrown in your honor, but your existence has been no less wonderful. You have shown me just how much I can love… that I can love two people this much at once. You’ve taught me even more about myself.. introduced me to the calmer side of myself. Taught me to laugh when I do make a mistake. I haven’t spent any time crying about how bad of a mother I have been to you 🙂 For all of these reasons, I love you more than you will ever know until you are a parent, and for all of these reasons, I love you differently than I love your brother.