I think a common fear toward the end of second pregnancies, is loving your first child less. We all know that fear comes from crazy hormones, and that you don’t love your first born less. That’s why we feel so free to talk about that fear. Because it’s an irrational fear.
The thing no one wants to talk about though, is that you treat that first child differently. Even if you don’t do it intentionally.
We don’t talk about it, because we live in a world where we are constantly judging other mothers, and we are afraid of being judged as well.
I have three kids. After having my second and third child, I found it easy to start looking at my oldest differently.
I have a feeling many of you have probably fallen into the same situation.
The other night, I got a harsh reality check on how little he actually still is. One that makes me want to apologize to him, and to every other first born child everywhere.
It’s so easy for me to see him so grown up. He’s the oldest after all.
I turn to him for a lot of things. More than I really should.
I turn to him for help with his brother and sister, and for help around the house.
I have such high expectations for him. Good grades, good behavior, be a good example for his siblings, etc.
That night though, I saw him differently. I saw him in a way that I haven’t seen him in awhile.
That night, I saw him for what he really is. A little boy that wanted his mom.
He didn’t want to say goodnight to his dad and I and go off to bed on his own like he usually does.
He wanted me to lay in bed with him, read a story, and tuck him in. And I almost missed it.
I’m so glad I didn’t.
The big ol’ smile on his face when I laid in bed with him, read him “the Elf Book”, and tucked him in is a smile that I don’t think I’ll be forgetting for a long time.
He was so happy to have my undivided attention (even when his little brother invaded our space and decided to climb into you bed with us).
It may have only taken five minutes to read that book, but it was a great five minutes. For him too I think.
When I got up to leave, something I did was really, really funny to him, and he just giggled for longer than it took me to read the book. Man I love that giggle. That innocent, completely involuntary, all consuming belly laugh. The older he gets, the less he laughs like that.
I miss that laugh.
I will hold on to that laugh for as long as I can. I will replay that laugh for as long as I can hear it in my head.
Every now and then, we all need those reminders. We need them because it’s easy to get lost in the day to day.
But someday, they will stop asking us to cuddle, stop asking us to read bedtime stories, stop wanting to hold our hands.
Someday they will grow up, and there will be new girls in their lives. Someday, they will be men, husbands, fathers, and our little boys will only be found in pictures, and in the memories that we can manage to make with them.
So make the memories momma.
Hold their hands in the grocery store, lay in bed and read them an extra story, learn everything you can about the stuff they’re interested in while they still want to include you.
Let’s try to enjoy this time with them while we can, let them stay little for as long as we can.
I know I am going to work on that. Work on remembering that while he is the oldest, he is still just a kid.
He is a child, my child. He still wants to be with me. And he stills needs me. Because I am his mom.