Thursday, February 09, 2017

A letter to my first born child

Dear son,

I can't stop thinking about the fact that in just a few days, your little sister, my baby, will be the exact same age you were when she was born. And the more I think about the transition we all went through two years ago, the more I realize I owe you an apology.

You see, now that your sister is the same age you were when she was born, I realize I am treating her differently than I treated you at this age.

For example, I stll pick her up and carry her around like a baby. I am calm and patient with her when she doesn't listen or when she throws a tantrum, reminding myself that she is "only two" after all.

I did the same for you. Until the day she was born. And then something changed. It wasn't meditated or intentional but I instantly started treating you differently.

When I went into the hospital to have your little sister, you were still a little baby in my mind, only two years old. But when I came home from the hospital with your little sister, you didn't seem like a baby anymore.

You looked like a giant! When I changed your diaper or got you dressed, your legs were like treetrunks conpared to your baby sister's! Your size 5 diapers looked huge compared to the newborn diapers your sister was wearing.

Overnight you changed in my eyes. I started holding you to higher standards. Expecting more out of you than I did just days before when you were still my only baby. It was unfair and I am sorry.

Of course I didn't do it intentionally. I was tired, overwhelmed, determined to make breastfeeding work this time around, and was battling Post Partum Depression. I was so focused on tending to my newborn baby's needs that I lost sight of the fact that you needed me, too. That at just two years old you were still a baby yourself. You needed your mommy to show you how to be a good big brother. To be patient with you as you struggled to adapt to sharing your mommy (and daddy). To recognize that when you were acting out it wasn't to be bad but rather because you weren't getting as much attention as you did before.

You needed me to be sensitive to how much your life had changed, too, and I wasn't. And it is only now, two years later, that I am seeing things so clearly.

I need you to know that you will always be my baby. You will always be my sweetie boy. You will always be the one who changed my entire life for the better by making me a mommy. And I will always love you with every ounce of my being.

I always thought that as a parent, my most important role was to be your teacher. You have shown me that I am very much still a student with a lot to learn. I am starting to realize that you can teach me just as much as I can teach you.


Your work-in-progress mommy