September 12, 2013

The Second Time


“One thing about having a baby is that each step of the way you simply cannot imagine 
loving him any more than you already do, 
because you are bursting with love, loving as much as you are humanly capable of- 
and then you do, you love him even more.” 

The first time around, I was surprised by love. It shattered my heart into a thousand pieces and built it back into something stronger and wilder, bigger than I would have ever dreamed. But at the end of a cool June, when they laid a wrinkled and crying you on my chest, my heart said, "Ah, there it is." That once in a lifetime love is somehow twice in a lifetime.

I feel as if you were always there, really. Not even a few months after Millie was born, something stirred up inside me. I loved the three of us- it was cozy and good- but I didn't feel as if we were completely put together. Last fall, as the leaves began sprinkling across the grass and the air shifted into a crispness that smelled like spiced apple cider, your dad and I learned that you were coming. Two lines on a pregnancy test, and it felt like a homecoming. Finally, I would meet you, Walter. The one I knew was meant for us.


Your hair tickles my lips when I brush them against my head. Your fingers curl up tightly and tuck themselves between your chest and mine. I push my soul deep into these moments, trying with everything I am to drown in them. Maybe because it could be the last time a baby of mine feels so small beside me, but maybe it's just that I know how fleeting it is. Millie's three years have come and gone in the blink of an eye, so I hold tightly to every second until they are pried from my hands. I don't wish away a single second, sweet boy.


This time, motherhood is different. I feel assured in what I do, at ease with how to calm you, unaware of strict schedule because I can listen to your cues. And it's nice, this relaxed way to go about it. No parent is ever really an expert at anything, but at least I have a grasp of the daily ebb and flow, what works and what doesn't, and the just-right way I can hold you to soothe you to sleep. We can both exhale a little.


Sometimes, I catch you looking at me, staring as if you're in awe. All I can think is, oh, little man. You have no idea. Whatever you feel is multiplied a billion times over in this mama's heart. I know that look will fade from your eyes as you gets older and prettier girls catch your eye, so I soak up every bit of it. Right now, Daddy and I are the heroes in your story.

Your sister will soon be your accomplice in untamed adventures and in troublemaking, too. And this time of you being so small will fade. You won't fit into a tight ball in the crook of my arm, and someday, you'll be too big for me to carry at all, maybe even to wrap my arms around. After all those years, my memory will always come back to these days. The days we had of unabashed smiles that light up your whole face, of the soft and shadowy mornings when we cuddle up together before the day starts, and the deep conversations we have, full of cooing and nonsense and deep thoughts.

My second born. My son. How wonderful that it turned out to be you.

15 kind comments from you:

Jamie said...

Beautiful.

blm said...

erika, every post of yours pulls at my heartstrings. your babies are so lucky to be loved by you.

Rachael F said...

Omg I needed this on this morning! I feel exactly the same way, it's like you were writing this for me! I am so in love with my second child, my son, and my 2 year old girl is just as in love with him! He misses me when I'm gone, and knows my voice and calls for me when I come home. I always thought I wanted girls, and now that I have a boy my whole thinking has changed! I truly feel like I need two hearts, one for each baby that's how much I love them both!

Great post lovely!

Sending you sunshine and snuggles =)
Rachael
http://thegrowingtreeblog.blogspot.com

Mrs.B said...

You've done it again. Just beautiful.

whit | Black Little Button blog said...

love. love. love.
-wHiT

Susi Kleiman said...

So, so precious and beautiful.

Reading Rambo said...

Everyone's saying "beautiful," but that's honestly the main word that comes to mind while reading this.

Jen said...

This is amazing, Erika!

Chantal said...

I definitely think with the next one I will be more relaxed.

Allison said...

Sigh...

Jessica Lynn said...

Your words, oh you're words; they're just phenomenal. I just love everything about this.

Melissa Gilliam Shaw said...

Oh, such a sweet post. And you Walter & Mommy selfie? Adorable.

Michelle said...

I love this so much. And I swear I've never seen a cuter baby boy, and I don't just say things like that.

Fran said...

I love this so much. I can't wait to snuggle Sneeze

MrsMcDancer said...

Sigh. This makes me excited for a day when I can meet the next piece of our family.

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