Tomorrow.

All week I have been trying to find the words to express how I feel as my daughter's second birthday approaches. When I think about it at first tears well up in my eyes, despair creeps into my heart. My baby! The one who I swaddled and snuggled to my breast! Is going to be two! Is talking! And expressing opinions! Requiring discipline! Where is my baby!?

And then I waffle. I wonder at the awesomeness of communicating with my daughter and the amazement I feel when she says things like "Ride horsies! At the carousel!" and when she names every single photo in a book, counts to 15, and sings her ABCs without missing a single letter. I revel in her arms around my neck and her requests for more kisses. I get all weepy again when I evaluate the blessing of participating in this growing life: to witness how she changes daily, to have the opportunity to be her mama, to look on as she discovers the world around her and herself.

At the same time? My daughter turning 2 is hard. It's been harder on me than it was for me to turn 30. I think it's compounded by the impending arrival of our new baby. I worry for my daughter. I worry that I'm robbing her of what remains of her babyhood, that I'm stealing time with me and her dad that is still rightfully hers.

Maybe it's not so hard on other people (you know, the ones who aren't pregnant). My mom told me that it wasn't so upsetting for me to turn two (my sister would not be born until I was nearly 4 years old).

Unfortunately I cannot stop the passage of time. This birthday will arrive. At 9:14 tomorrow night my daughter will officially be a two-year-old. And in six weeks' time she will have a baby brother. We will all strike out on this journey together. We're gonna make it.

And now if I could just quit CRYING.

12 weeks

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Oh my baby girl. You'll always be my baby girl.

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8 thoughts on “Tomorrow.

  1. larmar says:

    Manda- I know it’s hard, especially with Rocky waiting on the wings. I had the same feelings with Alex (though they were during her FIRST birthday… ayayay.). I was so worried that I was robbing her of her right to be the ‘baby’. And at times, I do find myself forgetting that, had I not had Eli, I would not expect so much of her at any given time. You forget that your oldest is still a baby. BUT. Seeing the joy that she gets at having a sibling (and I can’t imagine that Syd is going to be any different), it makes it all so perfect. I promise, once you get that boy in your arms, your thoughts will morph and all you will be thinking is “OF COURSE he was supposed to come RIGHT NOW.” Then you get to enjoy the sweet nothing of the newborn, and literally on your shoulder, have your bouncing 2 year old, full of expression and returning the love you’ve been fawning over her, and now her brother, for over 2 years now. It’s a delicious mix.
    I suppose that is a really long-winded way of saying that I’ve been there, and I understand what it is your feeling. And I know that what I say may not take the sting away now, but knowing that all will be well when Rocky comes puts me at ease for you. Enjoy your sweet daughter, and then continue to enjoy her when her baby bro comes. I promise you will. And in my case, I even appreciated Alex more and could understand what a long way we’ve come with her… you forget how small they were… well, maybe not in Syd’s case.. 🙂

    Anyway- sorry so long. Much love, Manda. You will do great.

  2. Maggie says:

    She really is a beautiful beautiful girl.

    I never worried about the “robbing my child of enjoyment” thing, maybe because I’m one of 5 born within 5 years. I mean, I get it NOW, but when I got pregnant with Molly I didn’t worry. (I do NOW. Maybe because I had time to appreciate her babyhood!)

    ANYWAY. I just wanted to say that two is more fun than one. Watching your kiddos together is going to be a-freaking-mazing and you will wonder how you lived life before #2 came along. Things are gonna be awesome. XOXOXOX

  3. Caroline says:

    Let me wipe the tears from my eyes so I can comment. How right you are about having the right to be her mama. I know it is hard having 2. Like right now, my house looks like a tornado literaly 5 minutes after both are awake. I am emotionally drained way sooner. But I get to watch My baby girl be a a BIG sister who loves her baby brother. She could have no greater friend or playmate than her brother. To hear them laugh together as they play or her sing itsy bitsy spider while I go to the bathroom on my own. Is way worth the tears. Enjoy Manda/ Having 2 is awesome

  4. Shannon says:

    *delurk*

    My daughters are 13 months apart, and both still under two. In my third trimester with my 2nd baby, I cried what seemed like every day because of the guilt I felt about my older daughter, who was just 10 months at the time, running out of “alone time” with Mommy and Daddy. I felt she deserved more time being the special little ONLY baby. I even wondered if we had made a mistake in some way.

    Then my sister in law pointed out that the second baby (and any subsequent babies) will NEVER get time as the special little only baby. They will always have parents whose focus is split between them and another sibling. And they will be happy, they will feel loved, they will feel special, they will turn out just great. Considering that, and the fact that my firstborn will have had all of that PLUS 13 months with us exclusively beforehand, I felt better about the whole thing. I still do have pangs here and there over it, but I logically I know I shouldn’t. And it’s funny how our love didn’t get split between the two once Caroline was born… our hearts actually got bigger to accommodate the new love we felt for her!

    *relurk*

  5. Sara says:

    That second picture may be the cutest, squishiest thing I’ve ever seen. Syd is gorgeous and I can’t wait to see Rocky. The important part is that they’ll both grow up knowing how much they are loved.

  6. seekingclarav says:

    Beautifully written. I feel you on every level of this post. Our girls are a couple months apart with my second due in 10 weeks. Lately all I can do is marvel at my daughter’s “big girlness” while clinging desperately to her baby hood. Guilt, tears, etc…

    but you will make it. And growing your family = more love for everyone, including your daughter. And she is way too cute btw.

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