I lay still as I listen to him breathe 60 calm, even breaths; as I take in his face and the feel of his soft hair beneath my fingertips. My baby is becoming a little boy. Some days I can barely keep up. He pushes me to my limits as he tests all of his- physically, behaviorally, emotionally. His favorite word is no and sometimes he screams and covers his face when he doesn’t get his way or someone says something he doesn’t want to hear.
But he is still my muse. He has always been my muse. My first born who helped me to find my voice and unlocked the dam to a million words.
And now there’s another boy who is slowly stealing my heart, beginning to inspire his own words. Poetry seems slow to come these days, overshadowed by the inelegant daily concerns of figuring out how to meet the needs of two little boys. As an only child myself, I am winging it. I don’t know what it’s like to grow up with a sibling, to share that bond, to share the attention of your parents. I find myself overwhelmed a lot by how to give myself to both boys without feeling as if I am letting one down, without feeling like I am being ‘mean’ or ‘bad’ in the mom realm. I am plagued with questions and guilt about whether I am giving Cameron the same attention and opportunities that I gave Casey. One of the hardest things is realizing that their first years in this world will be different from each other and that that’s ok.
Just when I am plagued by this whirlwind of thoughts, I catch a glimpse of their brotherhood- Casey running to get a toy for Cameron before he goes to bed so he can give it to him in the morning, helping me find a pacifier, showing Cameron his trucks, telling me why he thinks Cameron is crying and telling me to go take care of “my brother” when he fusses. Cameron unable to take his eyes off his older brother, fascinated, laughing and cooing when Casey talks to him, grabbing onto his hair or his shirt or his hand when he sits close, laying still and watching him as he plays.
Cameron is growing so fast. I forgot how fast they grow. He is rolling over both ways and will be sitting up in the next month or two. He is already so aware of his surroundings and I can’t wait to see what it will be like when he is able to begin “playing” simple games, when he is able to begin to communicate with us. I can’t wait to watch these brothers grow together. As my own comfort level with raising siblings grows, I have hope that poetry will return but for now my words will serve to simply document our days and keep track of my running thoughts so they don’t spin out of control.