for my little man, on his due date

{warning: you may need tissues}
Maybe it’s the raging hormones or the uncertainty I’ve felt about the birth of my second child or maybe I’m just a softie. (The reason, I suppose, is not really important.) Someone posted this poem in comment to the above referenced post, and I didn’t even make it through the first stanza before I was crying. Why share it? Well, I asked myself that too. It’s likely that very few of you will respond with the same powerful and immediate emotional upheaval that I did, but maybe you remember back to the time that you were expecting #2 and felt similarly. Or maybe you felt this with the birth of your first and worried about how life-altering that birth would be for you and your significant other. Or maybe you’re just a softie too.

Either way, on this, the due date for my little man, I wanted to share the poem with you.

Loving Two
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 he 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 him, 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 he adores you – as I have for so long. I see how excited you are by each of his 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.
Author Unknown

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7 thoughts on “for my little man, on his due date

  1. How beautifully stated. It’s impossible (at least for me) to explain how one finds within themselves this new treasure trove of deep and unique love for each child, but it is truly amazing to experience. And as “big sister,” you are testament to the potential long-term relationship a first-born can have with her sib(s) . . . and the special place you will alway hold in the hearts of your mom & dad. It’s phenomenal to watch you “morph” into this new phase of parenting. What fortunate souls to find themselves in YOUR lap!

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  2. So sweet, Kiyah. We’re due with our second in March, and I was feeling ambivalent at best about it. Then we had a 20-week ultrasound last week, saw her (yup, another her!), and all the sudden, I feel like I love A. more than ever–like burst-at-the-seams kind of love. Not that I didn’t before, but I feel more protective of that love as I find myself looking forward to the next one coming more than I had before. Congratulations again and again and again–can’t wait to see more of the guy!

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  3. I remember when we talked about the difference there is with two children and I always felt I could not explain how possible it is to have enough love to go around. This poem is just what I was trying to say. I am so glad you found it. Love you Mom

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  4. Loved this poem – I remember sobbing over my 3 year old as I gave her a bath when I first got home after delivering #2. Those fears captured perfectly. And watching the two of them (4yr and 1yr now) develop their mutually adoring relationship has been breathtaking – the bittersweet all wrapped up together.
    I just found your Tanzania blog this evening while searching for USAID pictures. I spent 4 years in Kenya as a kid and time in Ivory Coast while in college. The pictures alone made me homesick…of course that led me here to see how your transition back has been. Thanks for sharing – (I also related to your “first run” post, but we won’t go into details! 🙂 )

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    1. Sarah,Thank you for your lovely comments…here and on the old site. It was such a treat to open my email and see that someone had left a new comment on Tanzania or Bust. I miss that blog – and find it more compelling that this one most of the time! I’m so glad to know that it still resonates with people. And my husband and I too, looking back on that time, remember it so fondly and are, as you said, tremendously grateful to have given that gift to our family.
      I hope to hear from you again!
      Kiyah

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