What Is No Longer

By Megan

Originally published at FriedOkra January 23, 2009. Things have changed so much since I wrote this post. So much for the better, for all of us, and the wisdom my readers shared with me in the comments on the original post has come to roost in our lives.

The second part of this week was almost exclusively Peabody-centered, thanks to a little cold his Daddy passed along and the imminent arrival of his TWO bottom front teeth. He’s been grumpy and clingy and unable to eat or sleep or play with his customary wild abandon, my poor boy.

Keeping him close and comfortable and reasonably happy required heap big Mama-ness, and I constantly snuggled and paced with him all day long except in the few little minutes he’d sleep before he’d wake again, inconsolable. As always, Bean stayed near, watching, waiting, helping where she could, and accepting way less of me than she deserved.

Last night after putting a much-improved Peabody into his crib, I tiptoed into Bean’s room and lay down beside her as she rested, waiting for sleep to come. We read books together until she began to yawn, then I pulled her close for a minute and whispered in her ear and kissed her squooshy cheeks and listened to her sigh. Finally I pulled myself away and arose to arrange her covers. Reaching for one last book, Bean sat up again just as I pulled her pink comforter up over her, and my hard knuckle collided with the outside corner of my baby girl’s eye.

She cried from the shock of it, and the pain, and for a long time I held her again and rocked her, speaking my profound apologies into the top of her soft, curly head. She tilted her face back and looked into my eyes, and I choked out, “I’m so sorry, lovey, please forgive me. Is it starting to feel better?”

“No,” she said, “But it’s okay. You’re still my best friend anyway, Mama.”

And then I cried. Much longer than for that tiny bump, and much longer than either of us felt the physical sting of that accidental impact.

I cried because the guilt of the week, the guilt of the past five and a half months of dividing myself unevenly between a tiny new baby and my FIRST baby overwhelmed me. And I realized how much I MISS my own sweet best friend and the special relationship we shared before Peabody came along. I miss being only for her and only with her each day, and I miss the simplicity of just the two of us girls, together.

I’d never, ever, ever change a single thing about my family. Peabody completes us. He’s a source of joy to all of us, and as vital a piece of me as my own heart. But someone once asked me,What’s the toughest thing about becoming mother to two children after having four years with just one? and while I gratefully celebrate the many wonderful, amazing changes this year and this precious boy have ushered in, the hard part comes not in what lifeis now, but in what it is no longer.

7 Responses to What Is No Longer
  1. Sam
    September 21, 2009 | 11:20 am

    Oh I can remember those feelings SO well. And I still have those moments even though my boys are 11 and 8. No, I wouldn’t change my world or my family for anything but yes I do still miss those private intervals of time I had just for my growing and changing first born.

    You’ve summed it up beautifully!

  2. feefifoto
    September 21, 2009 | 11:27 am

    There will always be together times, but you have to think ahead and plan some of them. when one of my kids sleeps at the grandparents’, I get to spend girlie time or boy time with the other.

  3. Carrie
    September 21, 2009 | 7:28 pm

    Oh, waaaaa! My 2nd will be here in less than 3 months, and I can’t wait, but at the same time, I kind of can…trying to enjoy every moment with my oldest as my only! 🙁

  4. Karen
    September 22, 2009 | 6:46 am

    I know exactly how you feel. My little girl was only 18 months by the time her baby brother came but we were so close! She and I had so much fun together. We loved to snuggle and talk. Then when little man got here, it all changed. He is a high needs acid reflux baby and takes so much of my time. I miss my little one and since she is still so young it is hard for her to understand. I try to make time just for her and I to do this. She is so much fun and sometimes I feel like I miss so much with her.

  5. Angelita
    September 22, 2009 | 7:34 am

    Oh… what a lovely story. That touches my heart. But its nice that you reminisce those things. I’m happy for you and your bestfriend. Time goes by so fast especially when we had 2 or more kids to look at and so much to catch up, but with God’s help we can still be the best parents for them. Bless you Megan

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