On Tuesday T and I took a stroll around the block. I was telling him all about the visitors we were getting in the late summer/early fall and he said to me, “Grandmom Granddad go home.” We had dropped off Z’s parents at the airport earlier in the day. They were here, along with one of Z’s sisters and her wife, for the weekend to celebrate the 4th and help us make major headway with our little reno project (Thank you times a million Leonards and Leonardsmiths). After we worked through talking about family I started talking to him about the nursery school he’ll be attending in the fall and all the cool things he’ll do and excellent kids he’ll meet there.
Little Man is turning into very good company. He has certainly increased my capacity to love. Yup, T has made me love Z even more. Z hasn’t hurt things by being an amazing father, but it’s true that I love them both more fiercely than I have ever loved anything. Putting all that mushy love stuff aside for a moment, any SAHM will tell you (at length) that we crave adult contact. Z has to beg me not to hover when he comes home from work and all I want is to talk to a grown up while all he wants is a minute to decompress. But lately that loneliness has been tempered by my delight in T and my gratefulness that he is my daily companion.
I get that the next phase in our lives is going to be awesome as well. We can’t wait to meet the New Guy. In some ways I can’t wait for it to be two years from now when the New Guy and T are actually playing together and developing that magical sibling relationship. But I’ve got until about the end of August and then it isn’t going to be me and T against the world anymore. First the baby arrives and then T goes off to school for a few hours a week. Both excellent things. Both so important for his development. But I’m still mourning in the most selfish way possible.
It seems crazy that two years is all I get before outside influences start shaping him. OK, it’s not crazy, although it’s probably crazy that I have such a problem with letting him go. I need to not be such a control freak and he needs to be shaped by lots of other people besides me. I know that. It’s just that the two years went so fast. Nothing about this parenting thing, no nothing about life period is permanent. And for some reason my brand of crazy makes me desperately grasp at life the way it is now. I was scared when I had my messy breakdown, then I got used to being crazy and was scared to get well. I was petrified to become a mother. And now that we are on the cusp of having this New Guy, this baby I want so desperately and already know I will love I’m petrified again. I don’t know how to do change gracefully or willingly.
Our comfortable warn-in daily existence is coming to an end. Of course it’s going to get even better, but it will be different. We will be a trio rather than a duo during the workday and I’m sure we will get into more trouble and have more fun by adding our New Guy to the mix. I’m just overwhelmed by the prospect of navigating the change. Welcoming this baby into our family won’t be a problem for Z and me, but we don’t know how T will handle it. And if he reacts poorly, well, that is completely natural. I’m just not sure how to help facilitate a smooth transition.
Additionally, I feel tremendous guilt over the introduction to life in our family the new guy will have. Actually, I sort of feel bad for every kid who isn’t a firstborn. When T was new he was held nearly always. His every mood was catered to, he got plenty of tummy time, he was the exact center of our universe. It was the same way for my nephew G. My sister had her second son in May and I am so glad that we spent a week with her family in June. It was incredibly eye opening. The six adults in the house were no match for the time and energy suck that is two crazy toddlers. And there seemed little time left over for the sweet, well behaved baby who sat in the bouncy seat unless he needed to be changed or fed. Granted he never cried. He was the most content baby I’ve ever met. He was also loved and cuddled and smothered with kisses, but the attitude that surrounds the first kid, the constant attention and stimulation, was gone. Made me realize how lucky firstborns are. Until the next sibling shows up and then no one gets that glorious constant attention ever again.
And New Guy will have a couple of things T never got. He’ll have a big brother to show him the ropes, he’ll have a mom who is a tiny bit less uptight and certainly way more experienced. We’ve already made a bunch of mistakes on T that we won’t repeat. We won’t be learning to be parents on the fly with him. And the one thing we will be able to do is love him as much as we love his brother. That is a hell of a lot of loving for one little guy.