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January 22, 2013

Dear Henry VIII

Dear Henry,


Today you are one month old. You sure don’t look like it! This weekend, we switched out the zero to three month-sized clothes from your drawer and replaced them with three to six month sizes. You are a big guy, following in your brother’s footsteps.


You look a lot like Jacob at this point, but I don’t think that’s going to last too much longer. You will probably always look like brothers, but there has been something all your own in your face, in your cry, in your temperament from day one. It seems you are more dramatic—your cry goes from zero to sixty in no time flat—but then, almost everyone is more dramatic than Jacob. I feel like I know a piece of you already, though I can’t put it into words. Perhaps it’s that you held on to my finger right away when they put you on my belly after you were born. There is something that looks and feels like home in your eyes and I am so grateful for that.


I’ve heard parents worry that they will not be able to love subsequent children as much as their first. That was never the case with me. Don’t get me wrong; I love Jacob like crazy, but perhaps being a second child myself, I know parents can love each child for him or her self. On the contrary, before you were born, I was nervous that my love for you would be more apparent. I didn’t know what I was doing when we had Jacob; my lifestyle and identity were shifting, plus I had the responsibility of another life literally in my hands. While I was expecting you, I didn’t have that sort of fear, anxiety, or doubt. Especially after losing Ethan, I wanted you so very badly. I knew I’d know what to do with you once you were in my arms.


The happy truth is that once you were in my arms I found that I loved you more because I had Jacob and Jacob more because I had you. Watching the two of you, either immersed in separate activities or interacting with each other, gives me perspective on what each of you is a person, what each of you means to me, how grateful I am to be your mom.


Last weekend, at three weeks, you rolled over. It hasn’t happened again, but now and then you try. Your life is happening very quickly, it seems, because your dad and I are living on both a newborn schedule and a toddler schedule at the same time. I hope I am able to capture your milestones with the same vigor I did Jacob’s. At the same time, though, my perspective on them is different; now I am looking for the bits of you I learn as I go, without simultaneously trying to understand the basics of child development.


Your dad and I keep forgetting how young you are, how short a time it’s been since I gave birth. When you would cough in your first few days—get ready, this is very silly—I’d think I should offer you some water. When we go out, I wonder if I have a snack for you. I do, but then, I always do! Big as you are, it’s obvious you are not a two-year-old, like Jacob. Still, that’s what I had in mind at first. By now I think I’m starting to get the hang of this two-ages-at-the-same-time thing.


I hope we will not rush you into growing up. Rather, I hope you reach for the standards we set. You have good examples in your father and your brother, and I just know that there’s a whole lot of good wrapped up in you in your own right.


Happy one-month birthday, little big guy. I am beyond grateful for being entrusted with the gift you are. I love you so very dearly.


All my love,

  1. I love how you described knowing that you were going to love him… I felt that way with Slade too, but didn’t know how to put a finger on it. Thanks for doing that for me =)

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