Sunday, June 12, 2011

Second Time's the Charm

My son just recently turned one and continues to grow and change at record speed with each passing day.  I am sad to see him growing up so quickly because I have really enjoyed him as a baby.  My daughter was more challenging during her first year.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, she was 7 weeks early and I was a first-time mom ridden with anxiety.  Putting those things together can make a bit of a bumpy road.  I had always expected that my son would come early, and was happy to have carried him 3 more weeks than Jane.  The labour was quick, he latched right away and grew like a weed.  He was happy and relaxed and continues to be most of the time.  I am not sure how much of that had to do with my attitude and experience this time around, but would guess that he gets most of the credit for the positive time we've shared.  My husband always says that if we'd had Dillon first we would have thought we were the greatest parents.  Luckily, our daughter let us know early on, and continues to remind us, that we really don't know what we are doing.  This is not because she is a particularly difficult child, she is actually quite wonderful.  It is because she is the trailblazer.  Everything she does, good or not so good, is a first for us as parents.   The second time around there are fewer surprises, less time spent worrying about things you can't change and a better understanding of how quickly it is all over.  People always talk about the second child sympathetically because he doesn't get the same attention that the first one did and that there aren't as many pictures of him.  I think that these things are most likely true, but I don't think that they are necessarily detrimental.  In my experience the second gets less attention because I don't have time to hover over him, wipe his hands a thousand times a day and worry about every little thing.  There are fewer pictures because I'm out in the world with him, living.  When Dillon was born, Jane was 2 and her life did not stop because his began.  He went everywhere that she did - to the park, the pool, play dates, everywhere.  When Jane was born, there were days when I didn't even leave the top floor of the house.  It would seem, that in my family, that the second time's the charm.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I was happy to let bedtime linger tonight, not wanting to let my daughter go to sleep.  It is her last night as a 2 year-old, and I want to savor it.  When she was born, I couldn't imagine ever getting out of the NICU, let alone envision the person she would become.  I remember looking at her tiny swaddled body in what seemed to be an enormous crib on her first day home from the hospital and thinking - now what?  Her first birthday was an emotional milestone for us, not only for the passage of time but that we had made it to that moment.  Raising children is a real experiment in time and space.  There are moments, usually between 5 and 7 o'clock, when time seems to stand still.  Then there are moments, like tonight, when I look back over my three years as a mother and cannot understand how it has rushed by so quickly.  A year or so ago I was walking with Jane and an elderly woman smiled at me and said, "This is the best time of your life and you don't even know it.".  The problem is that I do know it, and that is why it is so hard to have it speed along so fast.  Watching my baby girl sleep her way to being a 3 year-old is bittersweet.  I am proud of the fact that she is healthy, strong and most of all, happy, but am sad to see the baby in her disappear.