I wrote this over three months ago but after reading it through it is still something I want to post, so that I don't forget and so that the children always know my love for them.
I wanted to capture here the experience, as I've witnessed it, for our sweet lilttle Judah the Lion as he became big brother.
|Early days postpartum, trying to make sure both boys got their snuggles|
I can now say, after having experiencing it twice, the transition for the (former) baby when new baby comes is one of the most painful realities for me. It struck me to the heart when Judah was born, and struck me just as hard with Ezekiel's birth.
|One random day after Ezekiel was born that Judah wanted to wear his suit, just because|
|This super sweet-natured little boy broke his arm in the early summer, he is just so darling!|
I remember being 3 or 4 days postpartum and sitting on Judah's bed over his sleeping frame. He had been begging and crying for me to cuddle him to sleep, but I was nursing the baby. By the time I finally got there he was asleep. I could not stop it as the hot wet tears poured down my face and onto his pj clad little body. I wanted to lay there with him forever, holding him close, so that he would wake up with me there and know I had not replaced him. It was incredibly painful.
Yet as painful as he found the transition, and as many times as he looked at me with his big beautiful eyes and said "It's HARD being a big brother, I'm only 3 and a half," he so adores Ezekiel. The moment he met him he exclaimed with delight, "Oh Tiny, oh Tiny your so cute, Oh Tiny I love you!"
He has called him Tiny ever since.
He loves to just play around where I am as I nurse or snuggle Ezekiel, but he always makes a little pit stop for a kiss on the head or a head rub. Admittedly, he has said odd things like, "Oh Tiny I love you so much I could squish your head!" But I understand the sentiment of wanting to absolutely crush someone with the weight of my love. I can empathize.
Beautifully, Judah and Liliana have grown even closer in friendship! It makes my heart soar to hear them playing and laughing together. They are two goof-balls and can make me crazy with the immensity of their creative mess, but they so adore each other.
Judah has also become a bit of a clown, he loves to make us laugh and has figured out funny moves and faces that always have us chuckling. He has grown in tenacity and independence, and very quickly adapted to getting himself dressed and cleaning up after himself.
Now, 10 weeks out I can very peacefully say that I was not wrong in my conviction that another baby would be a gift to our family. Admittedly, that night after I sat crying over sleeping Judah, I walked out to Joe and told him I wasn't sure I could do this again, it was too hard seeing the other children suffer as they adapted. However do know that it makes no sense, nor is it even fair, to try and protect a child from life's natural sufferings.....those sufferings in which they become more generous and less self centered. I suppose it is a good lesson to learn early that life is not always about feeling good and that sometimes love is a choice even when it doesn't feel good.