|The only time the three of them were in the same place.|
Virginia April 2012
And now here I am in a very similar situation as my own mother-- similar because she has four children. My oldest son not only has his own scrapbook baby book-- complete with every card given to us at his birth and carefully arranged mementos of his first year-- but also a beautiful Shutterfly photo book that I have yet to order (okay, I admit it... I have to finish the last couple pages). C and O? They have "first year calendars." I went to Hallmark, set to buy baby books and give them the same keepsakes that I had so painstakingly worked on for D, when I recollected the hours I spent gluing in movie tickets, pictures, greeting cards... a cold shiver ran down my spine. Instead of the blank scrapbooks, I reached for two calendars, a much more manageable option. When I brought them home, I mumbled to my husband that I would actually be making their baby books on Shutterfly and these are just for now. The first three months are full of detail, weights at doctor's appointments and "firsts." The fourth month on each calendar is spotty. The fifth month, well, I don't know, because the calendars are still hanging on the wall open to the fourth month. No, wait, they were moved, so aren't they in that box in their closet...?
|Brothers being silly.|
Virginia April 2012
I don't know what drove me to write down every minute first for D. I think I felt like I didn't want to forget a single moment. I imagined looking through the scrapbook with his wife, comparing his milestones with his own children's. My children have grown my heart larger than I thought possible. My love overflows for each of them, each of them their own precious person in my eyes. I love the moments I can steal one-on-one with them or the silly moments when they make me laugh at loud. But filling out each baby book... I think that was my "first." I think I was cherishing my first time being a momma, my first time watching a person grow in front of my eyes, my first time loving someone that deeply. The love I have for my children is different than the love I have for my spouse, for my sisters, for my parents, or for my friends. With my husband, I feel he is my rock, my base, my guide. My children feel as though they are tiny extensions of myself, equal halves of my husband and myself. We feel it is our responsibility to teach them love, to guide them, to assist them in becoming their own people, to protect them, and to provide for them. Writing everything down was a way for me to celebrate that new kind of love in my life.
Looking at the pictures and videos I have of them, I see the change. With D, every "first" was new. Every "first" was just as big of a surprise to me as it was to him, "You can sit up! Omigosh, you are sitting up!" This time I feel more like, "All right, baby, you can sit up! Now can you roll?" The farther we moved into the first year-- and now beyond-- the more comfortable I was with my role as a mother of three. I knew what to expect when caring for newborns or dealing with colds. For a long time with D-- and even after C and O came home-- it felt like I was playing house. I had this little person to take care of, that I loved so much, but I still couldn't believe he was ours and that we would be so blessed to be his parents. It felt strange telling friends or family "no" because of nap schedules or our parenting techniques. We had a vision of the type of parents we wanted to be and what we were moving towards even though we weren't there yet. It is a strange transition from being an adult to being a parent. My husband and I were both very comfortable in our own skins and suddenly we were asserting ourselves in a new role-- the advocate for our children.
|Getting a better view...|
Virginia April 2012
I'm not sure if we are all doomed to become our parents. While I am occasionally shocked at how quickly I fell into the model of parenting my parents provided for me, I am always proud to find myself doing the things they did right (which is actually quite a lot, especially now that I am in their shoes). My favorite discussions with my husband are always about what things were like when we were kids, our favorite things our parents did. We both love how our family has fallen into an easy rhythm and the joy our children bring us. And so, boys, you may or may not have completed baby books. I honestly don't know when or if I will get around to finishing them. I can tell you that, regardless, your parents have enjoyed and cherished every moment that they have been blessed to spend with you. And that's just the way it is.