I miss you. I miss us, just you and me. Full days of playtime. Cars and trucks, coloring, dancing about the living room to the rhythm of the music, shake-shake-shaking our shakers. Rocking chairs and books before bed and lots of laughs all over the day.
I miss driving together to the store, any store. Just you in back, singing or loudly toddler-talking your way through the commute.
I miss you being able to be loud whenever you wanted. Now you have to “Be quiet! Brother is trying to rest!” You can’t stomp around the living room, laughing as boisterously as ever. You can’t yell “Momeee!” whenever I happen to step around the corner out of view. I am so desperate to get No. 2 to sleep, again.
Instead of laughs, now there’s lots of “Be thoughtful of others. Hush!”
I so often am shushing you, my firstborn, setting you aside to run to brother’s aid as he needs me for the umpteenth time. I barely get you anymore. Our quiet time is so brief it rarely exists, for you want to be loud! It is your way of getting attention. Usually it is a naughty time to be loud, but it is your way of trying to find me.
When you go to bed and I come across your toy on my bureau, I miss you. I have always missed you when you sleep (though I am glad when you finally do go to sleep), but now it is different. It is a feeling of “I didn’t get enough of you today.” My heart sighs.
Now you are one of two. And the other is still too little to not end up with more of me.
Of course I want to sit with him, too. Revel in his babbles, gurgles, and breath-stopping looks through which he says, “I love you, Mama.” The sideways grin and eyes so focused and wide with a love that’s new, an expression so deep I have to stop to catch my breath and look, really look, back at him.
I love you both with the deepest love that could exist.
But I miss you. It used to be just you, my firstborn.
I miss coming to your aid when you are sad or sick or tumble. I want to run and scoop you up, hold you, and sway like we used to. My face in your neck as you cry or fret or simply take in Mama. I miss being the one you could always turn to.
Most days, I feel like I barely have enough for either of you. I want to love as I used to, with my full attention. But there is so much need so constantly that I struggle to have enough.
Perhaps all mothers with more than one child hope for an easier future of more time to give more to each one. Until that future, I have to start each now recognizing it uniquely holds so much change and growth for you both that I’ve got to just be here as much as I am able.
For now, I have to find whatever amount of me it is I’ve got to share between you.
But I still hope to someday feel like I have and am enough. I hope when you both are out of babyhood and toddlerhood and into more independence I’ll feel like I’ve got you each covered with my love, my time, and my attention. Until then, I miss you. I miss me. I miss us.