Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I'm Terrified: How to Love and Parent Two Children

Although I really, truly prefer winter, for some reason there are a lot of tastes, scents, and sounds that hold a special place in my heart and send me swirling back to various points throughout my childhood and college years.

We live near a high school, where just about every day there is some kind of sporting event going on. For me, the sound of a baseball hitting a metal bat delivers me to the days when I lived on the baseball field because either my dad or older brother were playing. Starbucks trips this time of year remind me of when I was in college and worked as a New Student Enrollment leader and would get a grande iced mocha just about every morning, the whipped cream melting into the cold drink creating swirls and clouds. A trip to Home Depot had me hearing the sounds of outdoor wind chimes, reminding me of summer nights listening to the neighbor lady's chimes ringing out with a passing breeze. And, of course, freshly mowed grass -- one of my least favorite smells of all time -- is so prevalent that it reminds me of growing up in a home with a mom and a dad and two brothers, one of which mowed the lawn begrudgingly on the hottest days while I avoided the sun inside.

Back in those days, I hated being outside in the heat. These days, I cherish days where I can sit outside and work in the sun.


Something odd happened a few nights ago when I went to bed too late and couldn't fall asleep. Tossing and turning because of the extreme discomfort of this pregnancy, it suddenly hit me: I only have about a month left where Asher is my only child. Just weeks left where he is the absolute center of my universe and the only little human that I have to share my life and my love with. The smack of reality that soon he'll be moved slightly to the side so that I can love and nurture a second child still stings. I don't know why I hadn't considered the reality before. How does a parent love two children? How does a parent find a space for two little humans in her life?

The love of my life.
To be frank I'm terrified. Asher has been all I've had and all I've known in my life. When iBoy entered my world, he was old enough that he didn't need me in the same way that a baby, toddler, child does. He didn't rely on me for everything from food to putting on shoes to kissing a boo-boo to ushering away scary bumps in the night.

Asher is my world. When Mr. T was gone for nine months, the reality hit me that I would be happy with just my little man forever and ever. If I never had another munchkin, my heart was full and I'd be fine. And, even though I've been pregnant for months, I've still been living with that reality.

I'm scared that I've given him to prominent a place in my heart and mind, that when this new little one shows up that I either won't be able to give it the love and attention it needs or that I'll be completely unable to provide that love and attention to Asher. As I said, I'm terrified.

Is it something normal a parent faces with a second child? Does it just work, like everything else in pregnancy, child bearing, and rearing? Do you just figure it out?

How do you love and parent two children?