By Kim Blakely, mama blogger
For so long, I searched every night sky for the first star. When I found it, I would say, “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight …” and I would wish for a happy healthy family of four (or more).
It was a silly little ritual, but I wanted to add another person to our family so bad I ached.
Now that my wish has come true, lots of people ask how things are going.
I usually just answer, “They’re great!” And that’s true. But of course there’s more. Sometimes things are hard and sometimes they’re funny and sometimes they make my heart hurt.
I spent a lot of time before Mojo was born thinking about how life would be with him in my life. (Most of what I thought it would be like ended up being way off base, by the way.)
But I didn’t let myself think much about how things would be if or when I had a second baby, even after I found out I was pregnant. When people asked how I would do this or that with two kids, I would just shrug it off … it didn’t matter, really. My eye was on the bigger picture: I wanted Mojo to have someone with whom to share a history. I wanted us all to have someone else with whom to share.
And if I’m honest, I have to admit that my reluctance to imagine the near future put some sort of distance between me and my new baby.
Oh, I loved her. I loved her desperately! And I wanted her – had wanted her for years.
I think it was just hard for me to believe she would actually be. I think I felt, right up until the day she was born, that it was all a big dream and that any minute I would wake up and discover she wasn’t really coming after all. Part of me even really believed I wouldn’t live to see her born.
I can’t say we didn’t bond early on – we did. But there was something I can’t put my finger on … I sort of felt like she was someone I couldn’t know just yet.
Maybe it was that I couldn’t believe my wish had come true or maybe it was my worry about hurting Mojo’s feelings by loving her as deeply as I had loved him from the very beginning made me hold back some of my emotions in those early days and weeks, or maybe it was just that she seemed so angry and unhappy at first.
I don’t know exactly when (or why) it happened, but all of that has fell away and I am so deeply in love with this girl that it’s hard even to remember how all that felt, which seems like an OK thing to forget, right? But here I am telling you about it because I want to remember. I don’t know why.
Mojo kisses and hugs his baby sister at least 20 times every day and patiently explains to her why she still can’t eat Halloween candy even though at 4 months old she already has one tooth, and where we’re going and why he has to leave her to go to school every morning but that he’ll be back soon – but he still has trouble reconciling the fact that he loves her with the feeling that he has, in a way, been replaced by her.
Tonight he told me, “I wish I was a baby.” I asked him why, and he said he wished he could snuggle with me and that I could take care of him all the time. (My. Heart. Hurt.)
I tell him how awesome he is over and over, and I tell him how much I enjoy our conversations about everything under the sun, and how proud I am of him for some many things, but I know nothing I can say will take away the sting of having to wait for whatever he wants while I take care of his baby sister.
He’ll get over it, I know. But will I? I guess I will.
The big toy catalogs have been arriving in the mail, and Mojo and I are browsing so we’ll know what to tell Santa. He’s picked out his favorites (there are many) and he’s picked out a few things for Moxie, too. Some of them are things they can play with together.
Moxie. My girl who craves eye contact and who flashes a dimpled smile when I look at her, whose deep belly laughs make my heart swell, who can fit her whole hand in her mouth, whose arms and legs are constantly in motion when she’s awake, who grabs and pulls the hair on both sides of my head when she’s mad and who buries her face in my shoulder when she sleeps. She’s already started saying ‘mamamama’ when she’s sad (Mojo said Mama and meant it when he was 5 months old.) and when her daddy waves at her, she tries to wave back (her arms flap, kind of like a penguin’s, which sounds odd, but it’s a cute thing to behold).
There are so many things I want to remember, and so many things I’m already starting to forget.
It still feels funny to say “my daughter” – I’ve only just gotten used to saying “my son.” But she’s definitely mine. And I’m hers. The family I wanted for so long is finally ours.