Playing Favorites

Playing Favorites

Ahhhh, confessional posts.  I am about 4.5 months pregnant (no, that’s not the confessional bit) and a sea of dumb emotions have begun to crash in.  I’m pretty much all over the radar on this one, guys.  I’m excited and nervous.. and happy and terrified.. and pumped and exhausted.  And frankly?  I’m pretty much just ready for August to get here.  I mean, damnit.  Move, August!  Move!

Those of you who know me personally (and have laughed at my current situation) know that, if the due date is spot on, Gabe will be exactly four years and a day older than the baby.  I know… really should have timed that better.  And we would have… had it not been a complete accident.  Sigh.  At any rate, August just got a lot more costly and a helluva lot more busy.  And as much time as I have left to prepare, I feel like the clock is winding down pretty quickly.  I mean, it seems not all that long ago that I let everybody and their momma know that “We’re expecting!”.  Four and a half months of not that long ago.  I just don’t know what happened.  I went from not looking pregnant at all to, holy shit… who blew up Sarah?!  And I am FREAKING OUT, y’all.  Fuh-reaking out.  I have valid reasons… I promise.

Gabe will only be four.  Granted, that’s thirty-eight months longer than was placed between my younger brother and myself, but still.  Gabe has largely been by himself for three and a half years.  I think he’ll be an excellent big brother — don’t get me wrong.  But I feel so… weird.  Most momma’s, if not all of them, who have multiple children have probably felt conflicted about the “favorites game”.  Y’all know what I’m talking about.  The new baby is, naturally, given more attention because… well, it’s pretty much a lost cause until he or she can move about without much assistance.  And even then, they’re on lock down for a while.  Every move is watched, leaving older kids to fend for themselves mostly.  Which, most bigger kids can do quite well.  Generally speaking.  But the older kid, unless he or she is a total oddball, feels left out and unwanted for a spell.

I am so worried that Gabe will feel unwanted or unloved for a while… and that is killing me.  Evan and I both are trying to remember to refer to Peanut as “our” baby.. as in everyone’s.  Because, in reality, it will be.  Mine, Evan’s, and Gabe’s.  And while Gabe is excited now, and he kisses my tummy every morning and hugs it tight every night… I’m afraid once the reality of a little bitty thing being a.. well, a thing.. Gabe might get scared.  And think he’s being replaced?  I don’t know.  I’m sure I’m giving too much credit for an almost four-year old’s mental process.  But little ones are smart.  And they are super insecure right about now.  And Gabe…. well.  Gabe is very smart.  And stubborn.  And already pretty territorial and protective.  And I’m terrified.  I’m equally terrified that my youngest will feel the same way.  That he or she will watch big brother do things that they cannot yet do.  Or whatever the case may be that could be cause for potential “favoritism.”  Why do kids have to be such a pain in the ass?!

Someone who shall remain nameless asked me the other day if I was worried about playing favorites… or rather, being accused of playing favorites.  I tried to be as cool as possible and answered with a (semi)firm, “No.  Favorites isn’t a game we’ll be playing.”  And I was serious.  And I am serious.  But although I know that, “So-and-so is your favorite and that’s not fair!”, is a cross every momma on the planet has to bear… it freaks me out.  Because I was an insecure kid.  And so were my other siblings.  And it wasn’t so long ago that I was putting my own mother through that bullshit (I do apologize for that, by the way.  Now, if you could kindly lift that curse…).  Someone, and I forget who, but someone explained once that no child is a favorite, but within them lies certain attributes and traits that parents relate to or like a bit better.  And that it doesn’t make them bad parents… only human.  I think I grasped hold of that wisdom pretty well, considering.

Gabe is and was my first-born and my first little love.  Up until this point he was the only little body that knew my heartbeat from inside-out.  I carried him without knowing his face for nine months of my life.  I carry him still and will carry him until he needs me no more.  Unbeknownst to him, he pulled me through postpartum — the most terrifying, life-shaking moment I’ve ever gotten to experience.  We have pushed and pulled through mounds of garbage already in his very short lifetime.  His mere existence has made me stronger and wiser… more courageous and bold.  He softened this cold old heart in ways no one else ever had before.  He is my grumpy, popcorn laugh little man… my joy and frustration. I delight in his intelligence and happiness, his determination and sweet heart.  I curse silently at his bullheadedness and temper, but these things let me know that he is his mother’s child.

The sweet one that I carry now… I have yet to see its face or hold its sweet, small body.  But he or she will share the same bond as my oldest — they too will know this momma’s heartbeat.  They too will have my blood coursing through their veins (God bless ’em).  I will love this child with the fire — just as I have loved Gabe.  I will be glad in their achievements and scowl at their less-than-fantastic moments.  He or she will also alter my life for the better.  My old heart will, once again, be softened, and I will gain more courage and wisdom.  I will also be granted a few more gray hairs and fewer sleep-filled nights.  I will carry him or her now and until they no longer need these arms.  I will curse once more at all the “uh-oh’s” because, they too, will be their mother’s child.

My love for them is limitless; boundless.  My frustration…. never-ceasing.  I will love them as hard as the day is long.  And at the end of it all, with my final breath, they will be my loves.  They will be my fire.

I hope they both know that.. either now or in time.  That this momma is imperfect and cranky and cantankerous.  But that they are and will forever be loved differently — but the same.

I suppose only time will tell.

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