I remember worrying, fourteen years ago, when I was pregnant with my second child, that I wouldn’t, couldn’t, love another child as much as I loved my first. I’ve never really said that out loud before. But it was the truth. It was a worry. The first one was, well, the first one, and everything was so amazing, so wonderful, so full of excitement.
It took a couple of years before we even entertained the possibility of another, before we could even consider doing it again and then, as the days got closer and closer to the moment when he would arrive, well, I started to panic. Was there going to be enough room, (in my heart, I mean)?
It seems so silly now.
“Your heart will just get bigger,” my girlfriend reassured me, speaking from experience. She had been through it three times.
And it did.
There was a moment, though. About two weeks into it, when we were still getting to know each other, we got sick. Stuffy nose, scratchy throat, up all night because you can’t breathe kind of sick. And what I remember about that time was that I sat in my bed holding this new small person in my arms and we cried, both of us, until we couldn’t cry any longer. He, because he felt so miserable and me because there was nothing I could do to make it better. It was a moment.
But it was the only one.
Number one had been independent. He barely looked over his shoulder when he marched off to school and to this day he’d much rather be anywhere than spend a quiet evening at home.
But this one was different. For Mother’s Day when he was 3 or 4, he made me a t-shirt with his picture on it. I pulled it on and there he was with that big, beautiful, baby toothed smile, right over my heart. It was a message. We were connected.