Saturday, August 22, 2015


Seven. I have been a mother for seven years. On August 22, 2008, Morgan joined our family, changing every fiber of my being. She came into this world after 22 hours of labor, protesting every step of the way. Nothing about her is easy. Everything about her is perfect.

I never longed to be a mother. For many years, I couldn't see how babies fit into my life. I had school to finish, a career to guide, a world to conquer. And then I met David. And then maybe, just maybe, I could see adding a little person to the equation. And so we did.

I want to write more about my daughter, but I am struggling. Since Clara's arrival, my posts have been sparse, more sweet than substance. My thoughts on having another baby are complex, often filling my mind during those few precious moments of quiet. The comparisons are inevitable, instantly taking me back to those first few days, weeks, and months as a mother. Clara is just so much easier than Morgan was. She sleeps better, rarely spits up, and will smile at just about anyone who throws a glance her way.

Friends have said that second babies are often just easier, born with a temperament in stark contrast to the sibling who preceded them. Others have suggested that it's not the baby, it's the parents. First babies are journeys into unknown waters, complete with heightened anxiety and too many unnecessary trips to the pediatrician "just in case."

Second babies bring with them confidence, a sense of "I got this." They bring with them less fear, more joy, more appreciation for every painful, exhausting moment. And for that I say thank you. I thank you, Morgan. For tearing open the wounds of my heart, exposing me to the vast, often lonely world of motherhood. Your first breaths brought with them strength and vulnerability, an instant connection between us. You needed me almost as much as I needed you.

And that's how it's been for the past seven years. The two of us, leaning in. What was once a tiny, wiggling bundle is now a mess of hair and limbs. I still snuggle you, you still asked to be held. You spill off my lap, caught somewhere between being a baby and a young lady. Coos and giggles are now sass and opinions. You challenge me at every turn. To be more patient, to be more measured, to be more creative in finding ways to channel your spirit.

And yet, through all of this, I marvel. At your generosity, your thoughtfulness, the deliberate way you make every decision. And now, as this seventh year has changed us yet again, I marvel at your growth. You forgive me every day. For having to share our time with your sister, for having to meet her needs before yours, for not always remembering you're still just a baby yourself. As big as "seven" feels right now, you are still so itty bitty. But you still love me, and you love her. You love her in a way that is pure and raw, not yet clouded by the stolen toys and hurt feeling that will eventually complicate your relationship. You love her the way I love you. Unconditionally and forever.

Happiest birthday to my darling daughter. You are life. You are joy. You are love. You are, and will always be, my everything.

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