My Second Son

Cameron-

This time last year, I was anxiously awaiting your arrival, heading to story time with your big brother, wondering if this would be the day.

This time last year, you were getting ready, beginning your journey to the light.

This time last year, the autumn leaves were in full spectrum. The air was crisp and the sky big and blue and clear. The sun warmed our shoulders and our bare arms. It was a perfect day to meet you.

Now, you hold my hand and rest your head on my arm, in your silly, sweet way.

Now you bounce and dance. You love to dance and you love music. How you love music! It seems you were born knowing what a piano was- reaching on tippy-toes, tiny fingers tapping sound from the black and white keys. When we play downstairs, our favorite thing is to sit together and explore the sounds of each instrument in our music box, the sounds of each rattle, drum, bell, tambourine, triangle- all clamoring together in a raucous composition.

Now you are one.

How quickly the past year has gone. I remember so clearly holding you in my arms for the first time, the way your tiny fingers grabbed onto mine, sleepy eyes looking up at me, adjusting to the light and the cool air of the world for the first time.

This past year has been so full- full of laughter and tears, finding our balance, dancung to new rhythms and adjusting to new schedules; of worry and anger and wonder but most of all so very full of love. I can’t believe how much love my heart can hold.

I spent a lot of the last year worrying, wondering if I was giving you enough- enough time, enough love, enough of me. I worried that I wasn’t giving you everything your brother got, worrying that I was somehow short changing you, wondering how I would divide my love and my time between two boys. Some days my worry manifested in anger. Sometimes I could see that anger scaring you, scaring your brother, throwing us off balance. This past year was full of learning new ways to think, to cope, to find myself and sit in the midst of chaos without losing my footing.

But a year in, I find that it all happens naturally. My heart opens to you one day at a time as we experience life together. There have been times of anger and yelling but so many more moments of tenderness and laughter and togetherness.

Cameron, here is my promise to you. I will not parent you the exact same way that I parented your brother and that’s ok. You are a different boy then your brother. The things you need from me are much the same but very different than him. Our lives are different than they were when your big brother was born. I am different. I am more confident as a mother. I have more trust in my abilities as well as in you.

I will love you to the ends of the earth and raise you the best I can and I promise you that it will be enough. I will accept you as you are and help you whenever you need it and give you as much space and as many cuddles as you need. And I will kiss you and tell you I love you a thousand times and then a thousand more.

Cameron, I love you. You make me laugh and remind me to slow down and, in this next year of your life, I promise to do more of both. I promise to worry less and relax a little. I can’t wait to see what this next year will hold. I can’t wait to discover the world with you and watch you grow into the little boy you will be a year from now.

Happy Birthday Munchkin!

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Heart-full.

I love watching my three year old run.  It has become one of my great joys in life.  He runs as if it is what he was made to do.  He runs fast and exuberantly, taking off a block away from the park, knees pumping.  His run is punctuated by involuntary skips and jumps, legs pushing their limits in a rush to get to the playground.   When he glances back at me, his face is pure joy.

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He has kid legs now, long and lean. I can see the muscle definition in his thighs when he runs and jumps and stretches; his arms when he carries, throws, reaches up for me to hold him; his stomach when I tickle him.  His little body is absolutely incredible- a work of art.  God’s perfection standing before me.

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Sometimes he runs just because he wants to, because it feels good.  He runs up and down the sidewalk, through puddles, laughing with delight.  He pushes his boundaries running down our street, glancing back to see how I am reacting as he runs in spurts, farther and farther down the sidewalk.  Someday he will be driving down this same street and I can already feel the lump in my throat, the blood pumping through my veins as I push back the anxiety of letting him go.

Meanwhile, my other boy is beginning to discover his capacity for movement and I can already tell he is going to keep me on my toes, just as he did during his pregnancy.  He shows a tremendous interest in exploring our house, loves holding onto your hands as he walks, constantly.  He’s been crawling for a few weeks, quickly picking up a three-legged crawl in his effort to move from place to place and follow his brother around. He pulls himself up onto anything that will hold him; standing at our toy shelf and systematically pulling everything off it.  I love watching the determination he displays when he moves from one place to the next.  I love seeing the automatic smile that forms when he claps and waves and recognizes my voice.

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I didn’t know what it would be like to form a relationship with another child.  As an only child myself, I didn’t know what it looked like for a parent to have a relationship with more then one child, to give themselves in different ways, depending on the needs of each child on a particular day.  I didn’t know it would feel so expansive, so awe inspiring, to realize during the small moments of our day that I am forming a separate relationship with Cameron that is so different from my relationship with Casey but just as big, just as loving.  I didn’t know that it would feel so good to have a second boy who found comfort in my arms, who just wants to lay his head on my shoulder or hang onto my leg or cuddle next to me in bed, just because I am his mother.  It gives a true meaning to the term “heart-full.”

 

 

Broken Dam

I don’t know when it happened-
when the dam broke.
A trickle widened into a crack,
brick by brick the walls fell away
until one day the entire structure gave way.
Whoosh!
The contents poured forth
washing away the divide.
There was no longer any separation
nothing dividing the halves
nothing to keep one side from embracing the other.
There was no longer anything holding them back.
The topography changed in an instant,
quietly, unnoticed even, to those not paying attention.
But to the sole witness,
it happened with a roar,
a flash of light so totally blinding
it caught her off guard and she was forced
to catch her breath,
to close her eyes, to blink,
in case it wasn’t real-
In case it hadn’t really happened at all.

Looking Out & Looking In

My eyes open too early on this clear inviting morning.
The day stretches out in front of me, long with possibility.

When he stirs I can hear it, so attuned to his atomic movement have I become.
He’s a creature of habit, like his dad. Like me. But the summer sun brings freedom and a yearning to break the mold; a search for whimsy and adventure.

He wakes in my arms every morning and when we walk into the living room, we throw the curtains open wide, one:

“Good morning outside!”
by one:
“I love you outside!”

This has become a daily tradition, one which makes the day, and my heart, burst open.

We have always liked to rest across the back of our big blue sofa and watch the world out of our wide, front window. We watch the cars go by and keep an eye out for trucks and buses so that we can race out the front door and chase them down the street. We watch the rain fall and the snow flakes as they float by. We watch the birds and the tiny chipmunks and we bang on the glass to scare the squirrels away from our bird feeders. In the spring and summer, we look each morning to see what has bloomed, to check the process of our small front garden as it grows.

When I am alone, I stare out this window, always the same view, always different. I daydream and write and plan and list and let my mind and my heart wander, allow my soul to escape for a bit.

Sometimes neighbors pass by and we wave, caught amidst our reverie.

It has become our own private aperture to the world. These days, we watch and wait and prepare for our future expansion, loitering among the cushions, hiding behind the pillows, snuggling under blankets. The view outside may remain the same but inside our own private sanctuary continues to grow and change and gain. We may be looking out our window but more often then not, as we gaze at this stationary and changing world, we find ourselves looking in.