Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Johnny Letter #20

Dear Johnny,

Well, your sister is here.  You could not be less impressed.

In the days leading up to her birth, we explained to you that you'd be going to your Grammy's house for a few days while Mommy and Daddy went to the hospital to get Lily.  All you heard was the first part of the sentence: "You're going to Grammy's house."  We told you this a good week in advance which was a huge mistake on our part because every five minutes for seven days, you asked "Can I go to Grammy's NOW?"  "How about NOW?"  You were not the least bit concerned about the hospital or the impending baby sister.  All that mattered was that you were going to Grammy's house BY YOURSELF.

This, son, is a good thing, and we were happy that you were so excited about the trip. We had some mild concerns that you would feel that you were being kicked out of the nest to make room for the new baby but our fears were unfounded. Actually, you'd have been happy to have been kicked out of the nest. There is, apparently, nothing better in the world than spending a string of days with Grammy.  We called you every day to check in and you'd happily inform us that you were having a fabulous time and "No, I'm not ready to come home.  Not yet.  Maybe tomorrow."  Good enough, kid.

You came to the hospital with Grammy to see us and the new baby before you went away to your posh vacation and we were surprised to find that you were not interested in getting anywhere near that baby.  It was as if your father was holding a rabid honey badger wrapped in a blanket, the way you kept your distance. When you came home I can't say it was much different.  You are more into staying a good three feet away from the baby than, say, holding her or helping feed her.  Which is okay.  Like your dad says, "You have a lifetime to warm up to her."

Miss Kiley at school informed me that when asked about your new baby sister, you replied "She won't talk to me. She only wants to sleep and eat."  Touche, Son.  That is the truth.  We promise she'll get to be more fun in time.

Last night you deigned to sit with me in the big chair on my right and watch a movie on my Kindle while I held the baby on my left. But heck if you were gonna make eye contact with her. Still, we called it progress.

We're doing everything in our power to make sure you feel just as loved and nurtured as you did pre-baby and truly, if anything, this experience with Lily has only made us love and appreciate you more - if that's possible.  You are adorable and smart and charming, and Lily is so lucky to have such a great role model to follow. Here's hoping she doesn't annoy you too much.  Little sisters tend to idolize their big brothers, so be careful with her.

We missed you so much while you were away having the time of your life at Grammy's.  We're so thrilled to have a family of four now and so lucky especially to have you. You're one of a kind and more special than a five legged goat.  That is pretty special. I swear, I saw one once. You don't forget that.

All of my love and heart and hugs,


Friday, January 18, 2013

Baby 2, Letter 6

Dear Baby,

Today is the day.  As of right now, you're not here.  In a few hours, you will be. Right now I'm technically a mother of one.  Soon, I'm a mother of two. It's crazy.

I can't explain what I'm feeling.  I'm not scared or even nervous.  I'm simply full of anticipation for meeting you and awe at the process we've undergone for the last nine, er, ten months.  I've never been so ready for anything, except maybe the birth of your brother.  I was ready for that, too.

I've instructed my work not to call me for at least two weeks so I can sit, uninterrupted and open-mouthed and stare at you.  I've stocked the freezer and cabinets so I don't have to worry about what to eat, and I've stashed comfy places for you to rest all over the house so you never have to be out of arm's  reach.

So many people have been waiting with bated breath for you.  Our children are the luckiest little people alive to have such a network of  family and friends who care honestly and deeply for them - you will never be without plenty of supporters.  Also, that means someone will always be watching you. So, just so you know - for high school.

I cannot wait to dress you up like a dolly and tote you around and gaggingly show you off to anyone who will look.  Your brother is already the most-photographed child in Lawrence, but just you wait.  He never had a pink tutu.

6 hours and counting until we meet.  Of course, I feel like I already know everything about you. We've been traveling together for a long time and it will be strange not to tote you with me every step of my day.

See you on the other side, Lily.

I love you more than you will ever know.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Johnny Letter #19

Dear Johnny,

I've been trying to prepare you for the arrival of your baby sister, but so far my efforts seem to be a failure.  I've yet to have you cry or gnash your teeth.  You haven't yet told me you don't want the baby to come to our house and you haven't tried to destroy her room or any of the baby things that litter the rooms of our house.  Johnny, this is not normal.  You are not supposed to be HAPPY about getting a new baby.  You are supposed to be CONFUSED and ANGRY and VENGEFUL. At least, this is what I read and what the experts tell me. You should feel like a jealous wife whose husband has announced he's bringing home a concubine.

Despite my efforts, you continue to ask to see my tummy and pat the baby inside it.  You look at the bassinet and say "That's Lily's?" and beam with pride when people ask if you're going to be a big brother.  You seem downright excited about the prospect of meeting our new addition.  You're thrilled to be getting a short vacation to Grammy's house while I am in the hospital and so far not at all distressed that you're getting kicked out of the nest for awhile to make room for baby.

Granted, it hasn't happened yet.  You haven't been confronted with the reality of your parents focusing on a new, crying being who doesn't get the importance of Buzz Lightyear in a daily routine.  So, I'll withhold some judgement until the deed is actually done, and just say "So far, so good."

Christmas was a blast with you this year. You totally "got" who Santa is and for days afterward reassured me and yourself aloud that Santa had been here and he ATE THOSE COOKIES.  You're still depressed that Christmas is over and the tree is gone, but you've consoled yourself with the fact that we have SNOW ON THE GROUND! THAT IS SNOW, MAMA! IT IS WINTERTIME! Which apparently is almost as good as Christmas if you are three.

You're a good boy all around.  You're so loving and intuitive, I can't imagine you being anything but a doting big brother.  (Yes, I'm delusional, but I'm nine months pregnant and I need to bright side everything in my life.)  You're funny and smart and a constant source of delight.  You're fully obsessed with Toy Story and everything related to it. You completed your set of Toy Story folks at Christmas and now are prone to carrying around Jessie, Bullseye, Buzz, Woody, and Slinky Dog all at the same time.  You demand we read the Toy Story book every night before bed (Oh, I never thought I'd see the day wherein I *missed* Chicka Chicka Boom Boom) and beg and bargain to watch one of the Toy Story movies at some point every day.  Buzz and Woody are as much a part of our family now as you are.

This week, you were sick with some unnamed virus so you stayed home from school and hung out with your Grandma and now you're spoiled rotten and think it's your birthright to eat mashed potatoes for every meal and commandeer every "blanklet" in the house for your snuggling needs.  I don't mind so much that I've been up all night with you every night, because you are so loving and sweet when you are sick, I take some perverse pleasure in it.  Hearing a feverish "I lub you, Mama" makes being awake at 3:00 in the morning totally okay.

Bless you and your precious heart. I am overjoyed that you are my little boy.  Lily sure has a tough act to follow.

All my love,