One of the biggest surprises when A. and I came home with baby no. 2 was how all of sudden my first baby seemed HUGE. Like, holy crap, my 27-month-old grew into a Godzilla-sized toddler over night. And he was no longer my baby. I don’t say that in a sad way — though I could see how hormones could make moms grieve this shift in relationship with their first baby — but rather in an awed way.
The other surprise is how I feel fine, this time, staying home all day every day. I’m no longer living in a poorly-lit two-bedroom dungeon in D.C. Our house in the desert is full of light, and the California sun and blue skies allow me breathe. Also, there is truly nowhere to go. And I’m OK with accomplishing what feels like nothing: no crocheting, no trying new recipes, no writing. I’ve let go of some of my over-achiever tendencies that gnaw at me.
With CM, I walked everywhere — up to my favorite coffee shop, through the photo exhibits at National Geographic, to brunch spots with friends. And I was beyond exhausted.
Now I’m literally sitting in the rocker in my bedroom, or on a lawn chair in our backyard, nursing and cuddling CP, his full lips puckered against my chest. I watch him smile in his sleep, or squeak those adorable piglet squeaks. And instead of feeling stifled and penned in and emotional, I feel joyous.
I have this bad habit of looking ahead when I’m excited or inspired or filled with love. When I arrived in Peru solo for a trek to Machu Picchu — one of my best vacations — I went on a hike and looked out at the city of Cusco and found myself thinking about where I could travel next. And so it is, now, as I snuggle CP, my mind is wandering to baby no. 3 — something I never thought I’d desire.