I wish I could go back and see you through the eyes of the mother I am today. The second time mom. The one who has a better handle on how to raise you. When your brother entered our lives, I was a much better mom. Not by choice. I just had a better grip on things this second time around. I had been through the growing pains of becoming a mother.
He gets the reformed me, while you got the mother in transition.
The guilt knowing you deserved the better version of me, has me wishing I could go back and be the mother you needed. The mother you deserved. There was a lot of learning that took place between you and your brother. A lot of growing on my part. I loved you fervently from day one. All seven pounds-four ounces of you.
My arms were made for you, I just didn’t know how to use them yet.
Not in the way you needed at least. I had no idea how to do this “mom” thing. I was lost, stumbling my way through motherhood and messing up all the time. I was consumed by doubt, blindly feeling my way around the chaos, searching for a glimmer of guidance on how to be the selfless mother you needed. And yet, I still failed. I was selfish and fought against letting go of my prior freedom. It was a constant battle, a tug of war between the old me and this new version of myself as a new mom. I missed my freedom. I missed taking long showers without little hands banging on the bathroom door, insisting I let them in. I missed sleeping in on Saturdays and drinking my coffee hot. I missed not feeling exhausted all the time and looking put together for the day. I struggled with you taking everything from me and leaving nothing for myself.
I was learning how to let go of me and put you first.
It was a battle, yet I loved you with every ounce of my being. I loved the way your little hand fit so perfectly around my fingers. I loved the way your mouth made the sweetest suckling noise even after your pacifier had fallen out. I loved the way you smiled. It was the most beautiful smile and it made time stop. You see, it was never about not loving you. So please my love, know I have always adored you. I was at war with myself, needing to let go of the old me, the person I had been my entire life. My old self was under a transformation. It was being changed and formed into this new, foreign identity.
The transition during this process was tough and I’m sorry you had to go through that phase with me.
You and I grew together. You formed me into the mother that I am today. You built me from the ground up. You shaped me, molded me, created me. You did that my dear. You made me who I am today.
When I brought your brother home, there was so much joy. But, there was sadness too. I was prepared this time. Well, as prepared as any new mom could be. I had shed my old skin and knew what to expect. I knew things with him would be different now that I was a second-time mom. I knew to hold him a little longer because soon enough he wouldn’t fit in my arms anymore and would be waving to me through the car window as he walked off to school. Like you do now. I knew to cherish those late night feedings because they wouldn’t last forever and eventually would sleep all night in his own room. Like you do now. I had more patience for tantrums and potty training and letting him do it by himself. Things I hadn’t quite grasped with you yet.
I knew how to let time slow down and be consumed by him, letting go of myself.
I wish back then you got the mother I am today. Because, looking at you through these eyes, I see you so much differently. You are my world my dear and I am sorry we had to face those learning curves together. You are my first, and as you grow, I am growing and learning life right alongside you. As you learn to be a human in this world, I am learning how to be your mother in this world. I guess in a way, we will always have to face those new roads together. Failing together and triumphing together. Hand in hand. I love you.
Your ever learning Mama