Thursday, December 10, 2009

May I have this dance?

Those of you who follow this blog have surely figured out already that I am crazy about our boy. Seriously, our Danny makes me laugh, makes me beam with pride, and makes me feel all mushy and dreamy inside like 95% of the time (well except for those times that he’s testing my patience of course.)

Yes, he is a gift beyond compare to both me and Susanne.

And as I think about this, I think about something our friend Erin mentioned when her second child was born earlier this year. She said that she never realized how hard it would be to no longer just be a mom to her older toddler daughter. That relationship had to change once little brother came upon the scene. Erin, if you read this feel free to correct my memory of this, but I think you communicated something about how in a way the family had to grieve the loss of the life you’d had with just mom, dad and little AG. Of course now months later, AG probably can’t remember what life was like without her wonderful little brother, but I think that you were on to something with your use of the word grief to express how it felt in transition.

Danny has had our undivided attention for his whole life. Well. Maybe not undivided, but he has only known a world in which we are not too distracted by anyone or anything else. This of course will change soon.

He’ll be a great big brother and we’ll work on strategies to make sure he still gets lots of attention and love but this life that we have known together is going to shift gears.

Yesterday he was home sick after running a fever in the night. I happened to be rereading our copy of the “Happiest Baby on the Block” and was reminded that the same techniques that make babies feel content work for big people too. That’s why swinging in a hammock or listening to the ocean feel so soothing. Danny was starting to get cranky but but really needed to take a nap, so on a whim, I up and did something I haven’t done in a very long time. I hoisted him up onto my left shoulder and holding him tight, started swaying back and forth just like I'd done so many times when he was a baby. We do plenty of rocking in the rocking chair now as he’s grown, but I can’t remember the last time we danced like this.

Our big 27 pound "big boy" melted into my arms and was fast asleep in minutes.

And even though he seemed to get heavier with every passing minute, I couldn’t stop myself from dancing with him just a little while longer. -Monica

P.S. A pic of my very first dance with our number one son on the day he was born in 2007.


Jenni said...

I guess I can understand that, grieving the loss of your initial parental relationship, but I have to say I never once felt that after Miles was born. It just felt so intensely RIGHT to me to be parenting two kids, two boys. It was like Miles was always supposed to be there; like we'd been waiting 18 months for him; heck, our whole lives.

I'm sure #2 will slip right in and complete your family perfectly

Strawberry said...

Awwww! A second child will definitely be an adjustment, but like Jenni said, it will end up feeling "right" in no time, and Danny will love his little sibling.

Erin said...

You remembered it perfectly, Monica. As we tucked Anna Grace into bed the night before Alex was born, I knew I was likely headed to the hospital soon after, and I felt an overwhelming urge to hold her and protect her, and for much of that night I could only think about how she was sleeping so innocently and had no idea how her life was about to change. When she met Alex about 15 minutes after he was born, it seemed she had matured a year in my eyes -- she handled seeing the baby in my arms better than I could have ever imagined. At that moment I knew it was perfect, and as Jenni said, I've never looked back. Almost 7 months later, seeing the love they have for each other is my greatest joy. I'm often reminded of the saying that you have your first child for you, and your second child for the first child. #2 really does complete #1, and Danny will be so much richer for having his precious sibling in his life. So excited for all of you and can't wait to hear the good news when s/he arrives!!!!

Bugaloo said...

I remember when Alice came to the hospital to meet Andy she suddenly seemed very BIG and very LOUD! And we actually did do a couple of things to sort of "note" or "celebrate" that the family wouldn't be the same again. Of couse, as Jenni said, it's better and is right and all that stuff, but every time a baby comes, "normal" changes. And, I still heave 6 yr old Andy around like a baby because I can't stand that he's so huge. He'll always be my baby.