I fully intended to write this post last week on Thursday, before my scheduled induction for Friday morning. Before the little Peanut arrived. However, little guy decided to be the first of my children ever to arrive before a due date, and Thursday found me in the midst of labor and new baby heaven, instead of here. That’s a story for another post, though, which I will write soon.
Last week, before Thursday, I found myself in a familiar, yet always slightly unexpected place. That place of, “I’m about to have a baby and my life is going to change drastically,” and more specifically,”My little baby is about to not be my baby anymore. I feel so [insert one] sad, nostalgic, guilty, afraid-he-will-never-forgive-me-and-be-scarred-forever-by-this.”
I’ve had this experience each time, in slightly varying ways, before giving birth to another baby. This feeling is always accompanied (and largely overshadowed) by intense joy and excitement for the upcoming birth of a new little person, of course, but these wistful/fearful feelings creep in a bit nonetheless.
This time, I found myself trying to spend a little bit of extra time with each of my kids. I tried to still do most of our holiday traditions:
Visiting Santa and having ice cream for lunch at the mall
Constructing and eating gingerbread houses
Baking and decorating Christmas cookies
Going to see the Nutcracker in the Castle and then having cupcakes and dancing with the Sugar Plum Fairy
I took each of the girls out for a one-on-one lunch with mom.
I tried to spend some extra time with Bubba too.
But in the last few days leading up to my delivery date (or what I thought was going to be my delivery date), I found myself feeling especially nostalgic about the idea that my little man was about to not be my littlest baby anymore. I snuggled him extra. I read to him more than usual. I got all sappy about putting him to bed each night, rocking him longer and singing his song more slowly. I felt so worried that he might feel abandoned by me when I went to the hospital for a few days and then brought home a new little person who would take up a decent mount of my time.
The other day, I talked to Super Friend about this. I knew she would understand. Of course she did. And not only did she understand, but she gave me the most perfect reminder to help me not feel guilty or worried about Bubba (I think she said it came from her husband when she had similar feelings before her second baby was born).
She said, “This is the best gift you will ever give him.”
Of course I knew this. But that little reminder was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment.
And she was absolutely right.
He sure does love his little brother.
My girls are crazy about him too.
Plenty of people say things to me (and about me sometimes, I suppose) about how crazy they think I am for having so many kids. “Better you than me!” is something I’ve heard not infrequently.
I know I might not get to spend as much one-on-one time with each of my kids as I might if I only had one or two. But I also know that their relationships with each other are one of the best things I’ve ever given them. And by that I mean not just by physically birthing a new sibling, but also through encouraging and guiding them in their interactions with each other, helping them learn to value and care for each other, to compromise and problem solve and be loyal, so that they will have this group of people to always depend on, no matter what.
I’m so glad they all have each other.