To all the moms out there that wrap their three year olds in baby blankets because you know it’s your last child, this is for you.
I get it now. We spend so much effort pushing our first borns to walk and talk and do algebra before preschool that by the time the second one comes along we’re exhausted from trying to get our first child into Harvard early admission by age six. I never understood what the big deal was because in true fashion, I gave birth to a “gifted” over achieving first born child who now at age six is completely convinced she has no need for me. When she was nine months she insisted she didn’t need to breast feed anymore. And just recently she informed us that she’s going to live with her grandparents or go to New York City. Of course it was with great thrill we watched her hit every milestone early as I happily reported each effort to everyone on social media. And when she was two, I decided I’d like to give birth next time to a child that would “need me.” Lucy has tired of me by age two and decided Daddy was the one who could get things done around here when it came to getting her way. She decided to concentrate her womanly powers on wooing her Daddy to her side and then achieving her goal of world domination (well at least in my house). So of course we got pregnant and along came her sister “the good one” as we jokingly referred to her… Ruby Joy.
Lucy, whose name means “Bringer of Light” and we do mean that in a super hero kind of way, now had to make room for God’s precious jewel, Ruby Joy.
And things were different from the very start. Ruby is a different personality and I love it. Whereas Lucy will look at a slide and think it will help her fly, Ruby will get up on the top and spend 10 minutes figuring out if this way down is too scary or not. Ruby didn’t like merry go round horses; instead she chose to sit with mommy. Ruby is cautious and careful and Lucy is carefree and crazy. Um, did I say that out loud? You get the picture.
I’ve actually lavished in having a child who needs me. It’s never been a burden as she reaches for my leg in a crowded store or still asks me to help her peel a banana. She’s three now and it’s going too fast. I came in to check on her sleeping tonight and noticed her whole body is getting longer. I didn’t see this coming, it just snuck up on me. I wrapped her in a baby blanket and took her over to the rocking chair. These days my best cuddles are while she’s sleeping. I rocked her and told her very softly, “My darling little Ruby Joy, you are not allowed to get any bigger or older for mommy is fearful you will need her less. Do you hear me? I’m not allowing it. You must always be able to fit in my lap right here on this chair.” Just at that moment my fearless flying six year old woke up and saw me singing to her sister. She sleepily climbed up in my arms and said, “Rock me, mama!” I realized there is still a part of Lucy that will always be my baby. And as long as it’s remotely possible, I will rock her in my arms any night of the week. I wonder if my mom feels that way about me and I’m 40?