Dear Little One, Part 1

21 Feb

[I’m going to be writing this a little at a time, since I a) don’t know how to write it all right now; and b) would rather write something while I’m thinking it than think it for a long time and write nothing. So this is going to be an intermittent, open letter to my Bouncing baby BRGL].

Dear Little One,
I’ve been wanting to write you for a while. You are a bit over two months old, and it’s been a heady two months. My thoughts and feelings towards you at this point are a jumble of hopefulness, joy, anxiety, curiosity, and exhaustion. You wake up so frequently now, and you’re so demanding, that it’s been hard for me and your mother to rest. And as you’ll learn, writing things down means putting one word in front of another in front of another, and inside I’m really feeling all of these things at once, with emotions and thoughts layered on top of one another. It’s hard to get it down just right, so that when you are a bit older, if indeed you are interested in understanding, you will actually understand.

When I was little, almost but not quite 7 years old, my own mom died. I had two older brothers. The oldest was born, and then, thinking they could not have any more children, my parents adopted a boy. 2 years later, I surprised them. So there were three of us, and mom and dad, and the boys were 6, 8, and 12 when she passed away. She was all of 34 years old. I think we had good times, maybe great times, with my mom, but I don’t really have memories of them. Nothing that wasn’t in a photograph, or that isn’t a story that’s been told to me time and again.

And my dad remarried a few years later, to a woman who brought a son and daughter to me and my two brothers. The son shared a room with me, the daughter floated away in a teenage eddy of anger and stupid and petulance. So there were four of us, all boys, 5 years from oldest to youngest (that’s me). We are a family of choice as much as biology. Two biological brothers, one adopted brother, one step-brother. I’d drop everything for any of them, still.

Despite the family turmoil and drama, it was a lovely childhood, a suburban one filled with games and running around, and outside play and the ups and downs of older siblings. I don’t know that you’re going to have lots of brothers and sisters in your life. Certainly not 3 or 4 of them. I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that you’re here, and that my father was done having babies at 29 while we’re having you when I’m ten years older than that.

I think your childhood will be quieter than mine was. Less drama, less chaos. I hope this doesn’t keep you from thriving in chaos and drama, or knowing how to find your voice in a room filled with others.

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