Well. Here we are. I have a confession to make, so let's just get right to it: before you were born, I didn't really think about you that much.
In the 9 months that preceded your arrival, my emotional experience was very different from the months before Annabel. I had waited so long for your sister, but you were a different kind of gift -- an incredibly happy surprise. I was impatient for her, but admittedly nervous and anxious for you.
I thought about how life would change with a baby in the mix, but I was focused on logistics/Annabel's reaction/the effects of sleep deprivation, to be honest. I assumed I would love you, but I wasn't IN love yet, if you know what I mean.
And then you arrived.
Perhaps it's my own oxytocin. Perhaps it's your luscious lips, your soft head, and especially those wide eyes that seem to see so much. Or maybe it's your calm nature, which is a much-needed breath of fresh air around here (never change!). But little C -- I have fallen head over heels for you. Your grunts, your voracious eating, your tufts of babyfine hair -- all of it. I am already forgetting what life before Baby Cameron was like, and I am so happy you are here to complete our family.
Our big sister. How did you grow up so quickly in the past few months? It seems like yesterday you were taking wobbly steps in our new home, and 2-word phrases were a Big Deal. Now, you are such a PERSON -- one who can, and does, say pretty much anything she pleases, with spunk and style. And so far, you are doing so well with what must feel like an earthshaking set of changes for you.
Every morning when you greet "Baby Cameron!" in your high-pitched baby-talk voice (not your usual voice, but the one reserved only for C and your dolls) my heart melts a little bit. You are eager to pat his back, touch his head, kiss his feet. You are all over any baby-related accessory, from the breastfeeding pillow to his swing (oy). You have developed a stubborn streak and I'd go so far as to diagnose you with a case of toddler . . . feistiness. But so far you have been only gentle and sweet towards him, and for that I am thankful.
At times you are clingier towards me, too. Is it bad to admit that I love when you ask for an extra hug or to be picked up, when I know you probably wouldn't have pre-C?
Sometimes I want to apologize to you, because right now my time is divided between you and your brother, and it's much easier to delegate your care (since no breastfeeding is involved). And as a result, you are spending more time with daddy/grandma/grandpa/your nanny. But the truth is that they are very happy and so are you -- and so there's really no need to say I'm sorry. I do appreciate the special times that we still do enjoy, just the two of us, and I am determined to make mother/daughter time a regular part of our lives.
Now if anyone around here does deserve an apology, it's you. I know that over the past month -- or perhaps over the past 24 -- I've felt more like a mom than I have like a wife. I know that I have been (and continue to be) demanding of your time and energy, even during the times when you've had essentially none to spare. But to the utmost extent that you could, you delivered. And I will need you to keep delivering. This is hard, I know!
Maybe this is just the season of our lives right now. Feeling (yes . . . ) overwhelmed and stretched and yet still joyful and incredibly grateful for everything and everyone around us. And one thing I probably should express more gratitude about is YOU.
You are an amazing father to Annabel and baby C. I love the balance of our Mom and Dad, and I know that as things settle our Husband/Wife roles will come back into sharper focus. Here's to date nights, weekend naps, and 6:30 am family breakfasts. It's so much fun when we get to do it together.