written June 19, 2014
We are anxiously waiting to welcome your little sister into the world and our family. You are twenty months old, and a total delight – filled with tremendous energy and curiosity, you are an endless source of entertainment and laughter, and I can no longer imagine my life without you. These past twenty months have been some of the most difficult of my life, but I am thankful for you every single day, and I will always treasure this time we’ve had as a family of three.
You will probably never remember these days. You will never remember being an only child, the very center of my attention and my world (and vice versa!). You have strong ideas about how you want to do things and are easily frustrated when you can’t do something or figure something out (as am I!). You love music and love to dance and make noise and whenever music is on, you always listen attentively. You also love to “cook” in the kitchen with me, mixing with a wooden spoon and metal bowl while sitting on the floor or standing at the counter while I prepare meals. And you especially love people. You love being the center of attention, and you say “Hi!” enthusiastically to every person we pass on the street, at the grocery store, or on the subway. (We joke that you are already campaigning for mayor!) I am so excited for you to have a sister to play with and love on, someone who is your size and age (more or less) and whom you can experience life with and grow up with.
Nonetheless, I am afraid it will also be a hard transition for you as well. I know it will be difficult for you to understand exactly what is happening, and it will be tough when I can’t answer your every call or meet your every need because I’m nursing or exhausted or recovering while attending to an even needier little newborn girl. And even though you amaze me every day with how much you do understand, you speak so little (your seven words are awfully cute however – Mama, Dada, papi or paspi (for “paci” or pacifier”), pepe (for “please”), dank you (“thank you”), ut-oh, and whoa!) that I know there will be much about this transition that you won’t understand.
In particular, there is one important thing that I want to tell you. Even though your little sister will demand an inordinate amount of my time and energy, especially at the beginning, this does not mean that I love you any less. You will always hold a special place in my heart as my first child, as the one I learned and grew and struggled with (first!), as the one who taught me all those initial lessons about sacrifice and motherhood and unrestrained, limitless love. I want to look you in the eyes and tell you these things. I want to say, “baby Jacob, things are going to change. But I will love you just as much tomorrow and next week as I love you now and as I loved you yesterday and a week ago.” Even though you will forget these times, this short era as a family of three, I will never forget it. These months will forever be special to me, and you will always be my firstborn, my love.