To my first baby.
To start with, I’m sorry. You’re too little still to understand why, to foresee how your world is about to change. But I understand, and I can foresee it. And I’m sorry.
We’ve explained it many times now – you’re going to be a big brother. You play “baby” with the stuffed animals and crawl on the floor with your younger friends. But your two-and-a-half-years worth of life experience in this world can’t possibly prepare you for what it’s going to be like when baby number two arrives. I’m not sure your daddy and I know what to expect, either.
The truth is, you’ve had the very best of me. For months after you were born, the bubble of joy I floated around in was all you, baby boy. My most genuine smiles, happiest tears and greatest moments of pride were for you and you alone. Even in the darkness late at night during those first few weeks, sobbing out of exhaustion with postpartum hormones running wild, I held you tightly to my chest and rocked you and hummed, “You Are My Sunshine” over and over. Even when my body was ready to give up, my soul has always found comfort in loving you fiercely.
We’ve experienced the world together these last couple years, haven’t we? I watched you turn a tractor steering wheel at a pumpkin patch, your eyes lit up with intrigue. I saw your tiny knee scraped up and bleeding after you fell outside for the first time (we didn’t have Band-Aids – you’d never scraped your knee before!) and felt your heart racing in your chest when we went down the giant tube slide at that play place. There was a time when I thought that spending so much time with you might give you separation anxiety or we’d end up with some unhealthy co-dependence on each other. But you are brave, so incredibly comfortable in your own skin and have the gentlest heart. Taking in each and every tiny moment with you (and having the photos and videos as back-up) has shown me the world through your bright and curious eyes – and I am better for it.
But, my love, things are going to change. You see, those tiny moments might get missed more often. And I might rely a little too heavily on your independent nature when your baby brother needs me. It shreds my heart even now, thinking about it. I know with my whole being that the love in my heart will multiply when there are two of you. But, my patience will be cut in half. Our lazy, quiet days as we know them will probably be gone forever.
I know it won’t be long before you adapt to your new day-to-day. You’ll step into your big brother role and grow from a baby to a leader. A teacher. A protector. A best friend. You won’t remember the hours your daddy and I spent every day patiently helping you with puzzles, or lining up all your cars and trains across the floor only to mess them up and start all over again. You won’t remember every toy belonging only to you, or our uninterrupted cuddle on the couch after every bath when you’re chilled. You won’t remember, but I will.
And your daddy and I are going to need you, buddy, probably as much as you need us. I know it’s a lot of pressure, but we’ll figure it out together. My hope is that when you read this one day, there will be some part of you that can feel the special bond we have, the connection that is unique to a first-born and his parents. You are the meaning of life to me and the truest love I’ve ever known. We can do this.
I love you, I love you, I love you forever.