Friday, November 22, 2013

Letter to my First-Born

Dear Noah,

In a few weeks you're going to have a brand new little brother.  You love your "big brother" books, and you regularly kiss and high-five my belly, but as a 2yr old, you probably can't really process what this means.  Hell, as 32yr olds, I'm not sure your dad and I have really processed the life change that is about to happen.  For 2+ years it's been the three amigos.  You never have to choose who to sit next to because you're always in between us, when you yell out "mommy COME HERE!" I always do, when you want to turn the lights off in your room and look for airplanes, stars, and the "real moon" in the sky for a half hour I happily oblige.  But all of that, and much more, is about to change.  Maybe it sounds strange, but as excited as I am for the new arrival, there is a part of me that is a little sad that our threesome is about to get shaken up.  I know there will soon be a day where we can't imagine life without your little brother, and you will never remember a day when you didn't have a sibling, but I want you to know that you will forever hold a special place in my heart as my first-born, the one who changed everything...

- You were the one who taught me what true, unconditional, scary, something-beyond-yourself, LOVE really is.  I love your daddy in unparalleled ways, but I know that he would agree that our love for you and our family surpasses anything we could have imagined.  I know I will love your brother as much as I love you, but it will always be you who first tore open my heart & soul in such a profound way.

- You were the one who taught me how strong, and how weak, I really am.  You think you know yourself until you have a child, but you little creatures force us to test all of our theories about ourselves.  Some of them hold steady, many of them don't.  It's humbling, and restorative all at the same time.

- You made me appreciate my mom and all women in a way I never had.  I love that a little boy made me a feminist. 

- You made me love your dad even more.  We had 11 years together before you were in the picture, and yet seeing his love for you, and your love for him, was profound to me.  He's the only other person in the world who truly understands and loves you the way I do.  How amazing that he and I get to share that?  You made us a family.

- You were the first baby to kick the inside of my belly, nurse from me, call me "mommy", say I love you, hug and kiss me unprompted, call out to me in the night, run to me when scared, trust me with your whole heart....these are firsts I will treasure until my last breath.

- You were the one who made me really understand that creating, birthing and raising another life is a true gift.  As natural and commonplace as it is, it is nothing short of miraculous.  It is never lost on me, even the second time around. 

- You were the first to teach me the hard lesson of giving up sleep...and free time...and privacy...and not having encumbrances.  But you made me realize that none of that actually matters.  I would give all of that up again, and again (and I suppose I am).  I hope one day your brother thanks you for paving the way, as I'm sure (well, I hope) I will be much more patient and centered this time around. 

- If in the next several months it seems like I'm holding or cuddling or kissing your brother way too much for your liking, it's because you taught me how quickly babies grow up and wriggle away. 

- You made me want to live forever. 

- Last but not least - despite my kicking and screaming - you taught me to let go.  Let go of expecations, of fears, accept and appreciate the present, and have faith that we're not given anything we can't handle.  I'm not sure how such a little boy taught me such big lessons, but apparently you are wise beyond your two short years. 

I'm sure I will re-learn all of this when your baby brother arrives, and you both will continue to change my life in ways I can't yet imagine...but you will always be my first little love, and the past 2 years will always be so dear to me.  Thank you for giving me the honor of being your mama every single day!

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