To you, my number two:
I cried big tears as I left for the hospital to deliver you. I was overwhelmed by how another life in our home would impact my relationship with your brother, my first. For years, he had been my everything. Even with you growing inside me, I had all of me—my time, my energy—to give to him.
Your brother came at a snail’s pace. You wasted no time. I spent fewer hours in the hospital with you than I spent in labor with him. You waltzed into our lives and upended the slow, careful, cautious way we knew. Where your brother was calm and curious, you are wild and exploratory. He likes order and understanding rules. You seem to hear rules and opt to break them, testing every limit.
Life got louder when you came around. Not just your voice, but the fact that we all must speak with a greater volume to be heard over you. We find you standing in the middle of the kitchen counter proclaiming your bold place in our family. You are a wizard at opening cupboards and containers. You climb into the pantry and help yourself to snacks. The floors are stickier and the laundry loads are larger.
I cannot take my eyes off of you, and yet I have to in order to clean up the detritus that is left in your wake. You play so much more independently than your brother ever did (or does) but you also demand attention—physically pulling my hands and pushing my legs to move me to the place you want me to be.
I’m told this is how it is with the secondborn.
You are a flight risk when out in public if you are not contained to a stroller. Even the grocery cart can’t contain you. You are harder to keep alive, and yet you are so so full of life. Your smile is infectious. Life is a bit more full of laughter because of you. And nights are a lot less full of sleep.
I knew you would change our lives. But it’s fair to say I had no idea just how profoundly your presence would shift the way our family functioned and how my heart would expand. Sometimes it’s hard to believe you both came from the same two parents.
You exhaust me. I wake up a little bit sore most days from the bending, twisting, lifting, playing, chasing. You keep me young and moving and growing. I will my time and energy to expand, to be able to fully give you both the love and attention you deserve.
You don’t seem to have much concept of danger. That, or you just don’t have much fear. Your brother will reign you in, and you will push him to be brave. As you both grow older, I can see just how good you will be for each other. The adventures you’ll find and the roads back to safety. There is no more precious gift that I could think to give each of you than the gift of each other.
Your brother stole my heart first, but I’ve found it easy to let you both hold it tight.
If I could have a chat with my pregnant sobbing self who was nervous about life with two, I’d tell her it’s all worth it. Every change, every sleepless night, every day that takes more energy than I think I have, every moment is better because of you.
We love you—for all of you—my wild number two.