TO MY FIRSTBORN DAUGHTER
A while back, your dad collapsed on the bed next to me as I was completing my nightly ritual of shoving pillows between my ankles and knees. I started talking about how very pregnant I was feeling in that particular moment and how excited I was to have your baby sister. And then your dad said, “But we’re gonna miss this, you know?”
“Just being the three of us. You, me, and Ellie.”
Like, was he trying to make me cry? Because cue mascara stains on my pillowcase. It was then that it kind of hit me that our days as a family of three are really coming to an end soon. And while we have the occasional tantrumy moment, we have a pretty great thing going here.
You are at such a fun stage. You sleep in extra long in the mornings, you sing constantly, you say a new phrase every day. You can be entertained for a solid hour coloring on construction paper and plastering your high chair with stickers. You squeeze my neck when I pick you up and ask for a hug and say, “Awwww.” Luckily for me, you love babies… and it seems the tinier the better. You are still very much a baby yourself, but you change into a big girl a little more every day. You haven’t had a bottle in over a week and a half and I can shower now without you crying and banging the door the entire time. And while it’s a relief and a convenience in a lot of ways, it also makes my mom-heart feel a little sad. I can’t deny how quickly you’re growing and changing.
I ask you where baby sister is and you kiss my belly. It’s real cute. But I know you don’t really know, ya know? It amazes me how much you understand and listen to us. But even so, I know you have no idea how drastically our family dynamics are about to change. It makes me sad to think how you’ll be wondering where I am when I’m at the hospital delivering her. And then it makes me more sad when I worry if you’ll feel insecure or jealous at the new little human we tote home with us.
Even though I know that you’re going to be crazy about your sister eventually, I still find myself feeling guilty sometimes that our time with just you was so brief. I’m sorry I’m too pregnant right now to reach far enough into the crib to remove the pee-soaked fitted sheet off of your mattress. (Waiting for Dad to come home for that.) Too pregnant to throw you high into the air during the Sunbeam song. (Again. Looking at you for that, Dad.) And too pregnant for you to snuggle up close to me with your book at night (my belly sticks out so much you can’t get quite comfy enough.) But I still have three weeks, just us. So, for the next little while I can still say, “Who’s my favorite girl?!” And you can put your hands on your chest and say “ME!” I can cater to your bizarre demands of ice in a cup and follow you around the house picking up the pieces that inevitably spill out. I can give you all of my time and all of my attention. And just know, even though things are about to change around here, the crazy way my heart has morphed to make an entire chamber that is only yours, never will.
Forever obsessed with you,