I’ve had this thought bouncing around in my head over the past few weeks: Life is richer with two.
It’s not something I would have really expected before BabyN showed up. While I was pregnant, I was too busy worrying about the work involved or the sibling rivalry in our future. I was anxious for the two to meet and for PJ to treat BabyN gently. I was too afraid of what could happen to consider what would happen.
And what has happened is that my life has been so completely enriched. There’s something amazing about a second baby, even more than the first. You’ve been through all of this before–the pregnancy, the labor, breastfeeding, the dirty diapers and sleepless nights, the first scary cold, the sadness as you watch your baby turn into a little kid. You are able to abandon more of your worry, more of your anal-retentive perfectionism, and just enjoy your baby. I think that’s the reason I bonded much more easily with BabyN (although it’s possible the NICU thing contributed as well). It’s comforting going into motherhood confident about your mothering abilities already.
Even more than already feeling like a good mother, however, the relationship between your two children is encouraging. Some moms get to watch their children bond right away and have to fend off the older child who is overeager to give kisses and hold their baby brother or sister. While I have no doubt this is heartwarming for the mother, it’s even more impressive when you watch the uncaring older sibling slowly warm up to the new baby.
That’s what has prompted me to realize how rich life is with two. PJ has most certainly warmed up to BabyN. BabyN loved him from the moment he was capable of doing so, and PJ’s coolness towards him only seemed to spur on that love even more. But now, I am able to sit back more and watch as my boys interact. Sometimes PJ will return BabyN’s adoration by letting him hold his hand for a few seconds or laugh as he plays with his hair. Sometimes PJ will lean down and give BabyN a hug and kiss, entirely unprompted. His obsession with his dinosaur is his attempt to nurture someone the way I nurture his brother; Doddledo is PJ’s less heavy brother.
I love each of my boys more than words can say, but I love them together even more. I wonder how I ever let myself worry about how much more work they would be or how bad the sibling rivalry would be (although that will probably get worse through the coming years). If I had known how great this would be having two sweet boys who love each other, I think even the crazy, hormonal, pregnant me would have been able to rein in all that worry.