Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Oh, How Times Change

3 July 2007

Dear Stella,

You’re napping. You’ve been a good napper for some time now. Only occasionally is the process interrupted by things like little vacations that mess up your sleeping. You are definitely more fun when you’ve rested.
Sometimes when I put you down for a nap or put you to bed at night I feel bad. I feel like I’m putting you away because I’m tired of you. While I am usually tired when you are put to sleep I am never tired of you.
I needed to sit down and write you a letter to tell you how I am feeling today. This is one of the last few days before your sister is born. And while I do think that you will enjoy having and being a sister, it also makes me a little sad. The older you get the more you realize that good things make you both happy and a little sad. Sad for the way things were. Your father would probably disagree with me here, but that’s how I feel.
This time last year your dad was in Ireland studying. You and I spent the month of July together at his mom’s house and also at my dad’s house. We were a little pair of traveling vagabonds. But it was just you and I. We survived together. You slept in the bed with me and we took naps and we would go swimming. You were such a little thing then. So small and you could hardly be in the pool without tipping over. It was a lot of work to swim with you then. But we would go to the pool and have some fun, go home and eat some dinner and then you’d get ready for bed.
There wasn’t anything magical about it, but it was the only time that it will be just you and me. And that’s ok.
Anyway, the reason I started writing this was because I wanted to remember this time with you. I know that you won’t remember it in any way other than being told about it. But this time we’ve had has been good. You are my first child. You made me a mother and you’ve been a good sport along the way.
You’ve been fun to get to know. Your little personality opens up more and more and that makes me excited to see what kind of little person you will be.
However, as the time has approached for your sister’s arrival I’ve been having these sad feelings. Feelings that you and your sister will not understand unless or until you ever have your own two children. I say that because I don’t want either one of you to feel superior or inferior to the other. These sad feelings I’m having are not because I do not want your sister, they are just because life will be different.
I had similar feeling before you were born. I was sad to think of the life that your father and I had being permanently changed. And it is changed—for the better. Just as all of our lives will be changed for the better when Gianna is here and a part of things. But I used to think about “our life” as being made up of just each other—your dad and I—and I couldn’t conceive of what you’d bring to it. And you’ve brought so much.
All this is to say that today I am feeling this sad anticipation and slight anxiety about the changes that are headed our way. I am sad that “our time” is ending—you and I—and that there will be a new person in it. I am happy at the same time, though, that you will have someone who will be a part of you the way no one else can be. I don’t say that with the expectation that you and Gianna will be the best of friends. That is up to the two of you. I do hope you like each other and are able to enjoy one another, time will tell.
I know that my life has been enriched by having siblings. Of course there are times in childhood where you feel that your sibling detracts from your life in a very annoying way, but I think ultimately it is good to have someone to share your childhood with. I hope that will be the way that you enjoy your sister.
So, my Stella, my sweet little girl, “our time” is coming to a close but it is opening up to an entire new dimension of “our time.” I hope that you enjoy it immensely and I hope that I survive the next few weeks with some amount of emotional stability because right now it pains me to think of you as becoming second or feeling slighted. I think that I’m thankful that you’re young enough to not remember being the only one—but at the same time it saddens me to think that you won’t remember this time. This precious time when you were the only one that I had to worry about—when it was just you and I taking things day by day.
I hear you rousing in the next room. I will go fetch you from your slumber and even though I have two weeks until I’m due, I can’t help but wonder if each time I get your from your bed will be the last time that you’re the only one.
I love you.



kbuck said...

Thanks for sharing this with the rest of us.

allison said...