Monday, February 17, 2014

Second Born

Oh my sweet second born
Can we celebrate you in a different way?

Countless pictures
A journal filled with excrutiating detail of every milestone
Professional portraits
Handprints and Footprints pressed into clay

Those were the birthright of the firstborn
The lavish, loving attention we had for the baby who turned our world upside down
We three sat under our newly created dome called Family and couldn't stop gazing at each other

You arrive
Dreamed of, anticipated, longed for, welcomed

And you turn our world upside down.
We four sit in a boat called Family and we paddle madly to keep afloat
We rock you to sleep even as you rock the boat
Everyone settles anew

As a brother
As a mother
As a father of sons--

Who will tell your story? What will I say when you ask when you first rolled over, sat up, crawled and ate solids?
My answers won't be sure.

But I will tell of how you woke laughing. How you bounced in rhythm with African drums before you could even walk.

How you rolled and crawled and climbed and walked with a speed and fearlessness that required a relaxing on my part.  I cannot hold you as close; you are my crocodile thrashing to do the next thing, to be, to become, to explore, to move on.

I will tell of how you went to bed laughing. Giggling under your knit blanket, pushing your fingers through the holes because you love texture.

I will tell of how you were our happy bird.  Singing when we sing, whispering when we whisper, laughing when we laugh, and not yet saying a word.

Except, "Wow."

And you are that to us, sweet second born.
One long and continuous wow.
That you are ours. That you are you. That you are such joy. That you are growing so fast and changing so much.
We say wow.

We may not be creating a documentary of your life, collecting a museum's worth of precious artifacts and a gallery's worth of perfect portraits,

But we celebrate you.

Parented with less pressure
Less scrutiny, more patience
You get more freedom
And less lonely.
Arriving with a first friend already waiting for you

This is your birthright as the second
To be a dream-come-true for three
Instead of two

The novelty of being rookie parents has worn off long ago.
The wonder of you will never fade.

Oh my sweet second born,
We celebrate you in a different way.