Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dear Daniel, The {Brother} Talk

I wrote this letter to Daniel the day we told him that he was going to be a big brother, and I'm excited to finally share it!
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Daniel and I sing together while he plays his
first brotherly game, "Squeeze the Baby."
For the first time yesterday, I heard the heartbeat of our family's (pending) newest member. Papa and I had decided to wait until that milestone to start talking to you about how our family is about to grow and change. You see, not all pregnancies end with babies, and I knew it would break my heart even more to have to explain such a loss to you (repeatedly) as you worked to understand.

Tonight at dinner, I decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and tell you: you're going to be someone's brother.

I started by asking you what you thought about being a brother, and once you realized that being a brother didn't mean you had to "stop being Daniel," you seemed fine with the idea. Then, I told you about how we're going to have a new baby in our family soon. I explained that Momma and Papa made a baby, and the baby is already growing in my belly, that ze will grow bigger and bigger inside me and then be born at home, just like Daniel. I reminded you of the book we've been reading a lot lately, What Makes a Baby, as I referenced the biology of reproduction. (Interestingly, I pre-ordered the book before we even started trying to conceive and it arrived nearly a year later, just a few weeks after I saw those two pink lines.) I finished up by talking about how babies need lots of help at first, but that they grow and learn new things over time. I explained what to expect from the baby: ze will sleep in Momma and Papa's bed, nurse a lot, get carried around in the sling a lot, and cry and use body language (not talk!) to communicate.

You asked a few questions, but mostly you talked about what you would do when the baby was here. One task that you repeated a few times was that you would also wear your baby in your ring sling while I did the same with mine. Generally speaking, you seemed to take the whole conversation in stride, like you had known we would talk about this at some point, and that it was no big deal.

It was quite a relief for me that the conversation went so smoothly, Daniel, because boy was I nervous about telling you! Leading up to tonight, I thought I was nervous because of how you might react, but now I think I was actually nervous about how I was going to handle it.

You see, until recently, you were the only child I had space for in my mind, heart, and body. Until today, I had been able to (in some ways) ignore the many changes that are already well underway. But now it feels undeniable—and you're the first person to be let in on the secret: I'm going to be the mother to another child.

I've heard so many times before from other mothers (my own included!) that there's a certain amount of doubt present when growing a family past one child: will I have enough time, energy, and patience to be present for another child, too? And how can I possibly love another person as much as I love this amazing child who is already in our family (YOU)?

I'm going to let you in on another secret, Daniel, and this one is all-encompassing: you will never run out of love. There will never be a shortage of love in your heart, and if you look for it, you will notice that the world is simply bursting with love. Even though I don't know it yet (from personal experience), I do know (from listening to all the wise and wonderful women who have come before me) that I will continue to love you in the big, life-changing way that I do AND I will love your sibling in that same, huge way.

You made me a mother, sweet Daniel, and in several short months I will make you someone's brother. I (tentatively) look forward to seeing how this new chapter in our family's life unfolds: with all its joys and challenges alike.

I have so enjoyed having this time as a family of three, and I know I will also love watching you grow into your new role as brother. I know you'll do great. (No pressure.)

Endless, boundless, unconditional love,


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1 comment:

  1. That's interesting about Daniel's reluctance to be a brother because my almost-3-year-old is adamant that he doesn't want to be a brother (I'm due in January), he just wants to be a boy. I might try the "doesn't stop being Gus" explanation next time it comes up. Thanks, and good luck as your pregnancy continues!


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