no longer an only child

With Blythe at Baby Girl's shower last Saturday, looking at her "sister" book from my sister

Soon Blythe will have a sister. A sibling. Another human being for her parents to take care of, worry about, and fawn over. An attention stealer is about to enter her life.

And though I am bursting at the seams [quite literally] in anticipation of our new little lady, I'm also soaking up the small moments I have with my "only child."

For two years it has just been Blythe and me during our days. For two years when I rock her, or read to her, or share a snack with her, or do a puzzle with her, SHE has had ALL of my attention. I could sing to her as we rocked and smell her little head and not worry about anyone else. But that time is nearing an end.

She's in a big girl bed. Her carseat is no longer rear-facing. She'll potty train soon sometime. She has a molar for crying out loud! [Yeah…she's been very, VERY slow in the teething department: 9 1/2 teeth]. I know she's more independent, and she reminds me of this daily if I forget. She can speak in sentences, sort of, if you don't account for grammar. I can tell her to do two or three things at once and she can remember, understand, and do them [when not distracted by a bird! Elmo! a book! her fingers!]. She's growing up. She's not my baby any more.

But she will forever me the one who made me a mother. I remember writing this letter to her on her first birthday last year, and realizing how much my life had grown because of her.

I know she will go through an adjustment phase when her sister arrives-- we all will. I'm sure parts of it will break my heart because I just won't be physically able to attend to her like I have been able to. I know my sister's oldest sometimes has issues with this. I was visiting once when she said to Kali, "Mommy, you just don't spend any time with me anymore." I of course laughed because, well, if you know my sister you know that she is super woman and somehow manages to spend incredible amounts of intentional time with all THREE of her kids, but it was just Caroline's [dramatic] way of saying, "I need a little time with you, Mom." And you know what Kali did? She swooped her up on her lap, laid some extra lovin' on her, and said, "Caroline, you were my very first baby. You know what that means?" Caroline's blue eyes were big with questioning. "For the rest of your life, I will have ALWAYS spent the MOST time with you, because you were here first." Caroline just smiled and smiled and gave Kali a big hug, then hopped down and ran off to play. And it made me realize, that though things will obviously change with this baby's arrival, Blythe will always be my firstborn, and these past two years will always be there.

I've also thought about the fact that Blythe is now the only oldest sibling in our house. Brent and I are both the babies of our families: we UNDERSTAND how to have older siblings, will we understand how to raise one? Birth order fascinates me a bit, and I already see tendencies in Blythe that are clearly a first-child thing. So what new traits will I get to see in her as she becomes the big sister? How will I, as a second-child, respond?

I have heard many people say that they don't know how they will ever love another child like they love their first. But then it happens. The love just expands. I'm not worried about that part, because I've seen it done time and again. I'm just looking forward to experiencing that much love all over again. To feel for this next girl what I've felt for Blythe? To get to learn and grow in that kind of intense love all over again? Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!" [Psalm 127:3-5]

And so, in the last month and half of my time with just her I plan on cherishing the quiet moments we have. I plan on holding her a little tighter, playing with her a little more, and kissing her as much as possible. I plan on watching her while she is contentedly playing by herself, instead of rushing off to do something quickly while she's occupied. I plan on holding on to these moments with just her, and we will both learn how to let go and hold on differently when the time comes.

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jenny said...

Love reading your musings, because I remember thinking the same things when I was about to have Summer. And amazingly enough, just like everyone tells you, everything does just S-T-R-E-T-C-H in the love department. And after just a few short days, you can barely even remember what it was like with just Blythe. Families are amazing.

Kyle said...

Good one Kels. I don't have all the answers for you but I know it somehow works out. Jenny is right, and Papa has a pretty full quiver.
Love ya.


Lindsay said...

Love this! I have been starting to process is as well with number 2 on the way! So excited to meet the next little one but mourning the fact that it won't be "just the two of us" anymore!

Jake and Audra said...

Wow, way to make a pregnant girl ball like the baby she's about to have. This is exactly what I have been feeling lately as I try to cherish these last few weeks with just Will. Thanks for putting into words everything my heart has been feeling.