Sunday, September 2, 2012
I found this blurb on the internet just after Ada was born. At the time, I was struggling with some pretty big feelings of guilt over Madelyn having to share my attention. This poem gave me hope at the time and now I can read it and realize how true it is. I already can't imagine not having both of my girls and watching them together makes emotion bubble up inside of me. I feel like I gave each of them a truly awesome gift.
As I walk along holding your 2-year-old hand, basking in the glow of our magical relationship. Suddenly I feel a kick from within, as if to remind me that our time alone is limited. And I wonder: How could I ever love another child as I love you?
Then she is born, and I watch you. I watch the pain you feel at having to share me as you've never shared me before. I hear you telling me in your own way, "Please love only me" And I hear myself telling you in mine,"I can't," knowing, in fact, that I never can again. You cry. I cry with you. I almost see our new baby as an intruder on the precious relationship we once shared. A relationship we can never quite have again.
But then, barely noticing, I find myself attached to that new being, and feeling almost guilty. I'm afraid to let you see me enjoying her -- as though I am betraying you.
But then I notice your resentment change, first to curiosity, then to protectiveness, finally to genuine affection. More days pass, and we are settling into a new routine. The memory of days with just the two of us is fading fast. But something else is replacing those wonderful times we shared, just we two.
There are new times -- only now, we are three. I watch the love between you grow, the way you look at each other, touch each other. I watch how she adores you -- as I have for so long. I see how excited you are by each of her new accomplishments.
And I begin to realize that I haven't taken something from you, I've given something to you. I notice that I am no longer afraid to share my love openly with both of you. I find that my love for each of you is as different as you are, but equally strong.
And my question is finally answered, to my amazement. Yes, I can love another child as much as I love you -- only differently.
And although I realize that you may have to share my time, I now know you'll never share my love. There's enough of that for both of you -- you each have your own supply. I love you -- both. And I thank you both for blessing my life.