From the moment I found out the second one was coming, I was terrified. TERRIFIED.
Terrified that I would lose that pregnancy, too.
Terrified that the 4 1/2-month-old I was holding in my arms wouldn't have enough time to be my only baby.
Terrified that the second one wouldn't have enough of my time as his mama.
Terrified, that in the end, I would screw them both up royally and never get to retire because I would have to foot their psychiatric bills until the day I died. After all, it would be ALL. MY. FAULT.
And then the second one came. Please make sure you read that correctly. The second one came. It was not, however, the second coming. Just clarifying, people. He's no Jesus and I'm no Virgin.
The second one came, and for the first year of life as a mama of two, the truth is, my terror was often realized. Overwhelmed doesn't seem big enough to describe my emotional state. A 13-month-old and a 1-month old are still babies, but babies with very different needs. An 18-month-old and a 6-month-old have very clear opinions about how stuff should be done, but that stuff is quite different for each one. I was exhausted. I was a mess. And I was hurting really badly. 'Cause the thing is, I just want to be a good mom. A mom who plays and feeds and laughs and dirties and says "Good for yous" and "I'm sorries." Instead, I often found myself with a baby in each arm, crying right along-side them because, damn it, my needs weren't being met either.
Thank God for the ones who told me it would get easier. The ones who reminded me that this too would pass. They were right. Thank God they were right.
Just about the time the second one started walking and talking, things indeed got easier. My terror began to wean and I began to see that maybe, after all, they did both get to be babies, that there was enough mama to pass around, and that I might actually get to stop working someday because those two screaming boys were now, actually, sometimes happy.
The second one is actually so happy, so much of the time, that I have to wonder where in the hell he came from. The second one has a belly-laugh that is to die for. Sometimes I find myself tormenting him with tickles just so I can hear it. That laughter is the sun, my friends. The sun.
The second one climbs and runs and dances and destroys. Yes, destroys. He often has help, but the truth is, he is Lead Destroyer in the Smith household. In a matter of five minutes, this child can open every drawer, pull out every item in said-drawers, throw these items around a bit, and then move on to the next area to repeat the destroying process all over again.
The second one talks and talks and talks and talks. He talks in complete sentences. He talks to anyone and anything that will listen. I heard him the other day say to his blankie, "Bye, blankie. See you soon." He says, clear as day, "I love you, mama." This reminds me that he is indeed mine and that I indeed know where he came from.
The second one is now 20-months-old. I now have an almost 2-year-old and an almost 3-year-old, and while there are still moments of terror, there are mostly moments of great appreciation and joy. Mostly. The first one rocked my world. The second one shook it.
It has been quite the ride.
And I wouldn't trade one measly second of it. Not one. I have the first and second to thank for that.