There are things I thought I was ready for, 6 months ago, because you were our second kid. Certainly, your sister prepared me for a lot of it, but a funny thing about parenting is how much that first year blurs. The exhaustion and the amazing little moments mix together in a way you can’t really explain to someone who hasn’t been there. We’re in the middle of that blur with you, and it’s absolutely like doing it for the first time. You are not your sister, you are very much your own kid, and that’s wonderful and I was surprised.
Some things are exactly the same, too. I kiss your head a lot. And squeeze your belly. I rub my cheek against your cheek because your skin is so soft. You gnaw on my knuckles with your gummy grin, and stare off into the distance, lost in thought. You don’t sleep through the night and, like your sister, you have a stubbornness that will see you holler for an hour solid at 4am if you feel like, secretly, your mom’s holding out on food. We have loving neighbours and patient coworkers and we feel very lucky for that.
For a while, you were a really little kid. There are these charts and percentiles for growth and you were kind of low on them, and the docs never made it a serious issue, but it certainly made us worry. When you’re a tired parent of a newborn, worry is a profound and powerful and constant emotional experience. It’s everywhere, and knowing that it’s common and normal doesn’t change anything. People would talk about how cute and tiny you were and we’d wince a bit. But you’re so much bigger now. We don’t really fret about it any more. These days you eat everything in sight, and your complete lack of teeth barely gets in your way.
We’re still figuring you out. We don’t know what colour your eyes will be, or what kind of hair you’ll have, and you still have a lot of nicknames as the world figures out what to call you. Some of my favourites:
- Corporal Bixington
- The Diva
- The Con Artist
When you are older, you will ask me to delete this list, and I will not.
I love you, Bix. Your mom loves you and your sister loves you. Thank you for being your own kid and putting us in our place. Thank you for smiling when we come into your room in the morning. And thank you for letting us sleep a little more last night.