Louis, you are officially a big brother. What?!?
How can you possibly still be my baby but also be just a tad over a year and a half and also an older sibling at the same time? You are no longer my tiny lumberjack but, instead, my lumbering toddler. Oh, I love you.
I remember wondering who you would be that afternoon your dad and I found out that you’d be making us into a family of three. We were sprawled across our bed, fingers laced, laughing through tears (I’m really the only one who had tears) and praying and making jokes and coming up with all sorts of what-ifs for you and for us. When I was pregnant, I would pray that you would be strong, shine bright and be a fighter for good…yes, we are those types of parents that named you very intentionally. I would also pray that you would be happy, funny and not be boring. I figured that we would be spending a lot of time together and was pinning my hopes that most of that time would be filled up with smiles, laughs and crazy ideas. There were probably better words to use and better things to pray for, but those were the ones that made the most sense to me. And, man, were they answered in the affirmative.
You, Louis, you. You. You are the one who burst open my heart with a wild, unlimited, mama bear love that can make me feel like I am simultaneously floating and drowning at any given moment. Hormones and heartstrings — thanks for that phrase, Hilary — are no joke. You turned me into a mom. You’re the first one to make me choose to actually forget myself, to choose to put somebody’s need above mine time and time again. I mean, in theory, Daddy was the first person…but you made it so that I could NOT choose myself first. Such a helpless baby. Daddy just pretends to be helpless in the kitchen and I can ignore him when that happens. You? I can’t ignore you quite yet (at least not until you’re in the double digits).
You’re the only kid who knows what it’s like to have the full attention of me and Daddy. We had over a year to be a trio! Our schedule, our plans, our trips were arranged and thought out with you foremost in mind. And now there’s another little to think about. (But how do I ever stop myself from thinking about you???) We are two weeks and some odd days into this transition of being a family of four. Daddy is back at work full time, and our days in these newborn weeks have you, me and sister hanging out together a lot. Your first meeting with each other was less than Hallmark holiday movie worthy — your whole body radiated “awkward” and she was crying her head off to be fed — but you have warmed up to her by leaps and bounds. You don’t like it when we ask you to kiss her or say her name, but the moment we stop prompting…you run over to say HI! and try tickling her toes. (Your terms, always on your terms.)
And even though you will no longer be our only child, you will always be our first…our first newborn, our first infant, our first toddler. You’re our tinkering explorer who literally pulls us by the hand every day into something new. You’re in our thoughts and dreams and prayers. (I once upon a time never imagined a future with kids but now you are wrapped up in all the hopes of my future.) So when you’re feeling frustrated because I’m nursing your sister instead of chasing you around the house or because Daddy is saying Gentle. Caaaareful. and Wait, please. on repeat when all you’re doing is trying to have a little fun or because we can’t pick you up right away for a cuddle session since we’re trying to calm away sister’s fusses by carrying her…please know that there is more than enough love for both of you in our hearts. But how is that possible?
Because you. Because you, Louis. When the mere news of you exploded into our lives, Abba created an ever-expanding place in both my heart and Daddy’s heart that shifts and grows and remolds itself every moment of every day to love bigger and better than we could ever will ourselves into doing. There is and always will be plenty of love, laughs, cuddles and nonsense to go around in our home.
Also, I can’t imagine your sister will ever be bored or lonely with you as her brother. I can’t wait to watch her watch you.