A little while ago I posted this status to Facebook:
Ever been driving and think to yourself, "if I got in a car accident right now, it wouldn't be terrible..."?
Like, not a serious accident. Just a small one. Where no one gets seriously injured but still, you'd go to the hospital for a few days just to be sure. And you could sleep, and be alone, and people would bring you food. And you wouldn't have any parent guilt because it's not like you're on vacation, you were in an accident.
Anyone else? No? Just me?
I thought I was being funny. Yes, there’s definitely some truth to it, but I am not suicidal nor do I have postpartum depression; at the time I just really wanted to sleep.
Most of my friends and family understood my humour and hit “like” or made a funny comment back. But there were a number of people who reached out to me to see if I was okay.
I was floored by this - it really humbled me to know I had so many friends who cared enough to make sure I was alright. One woman in particular sent me a message that touched my heart. In it, she mentioned that since Ander was born the tone of my Facebook posts had changed.
This stuck with me. Had my tone really changed that much? So much so that people are concerned about my well-being? Do I spend all of my time complaining about how little sleep I’m getting and how hard it is to parent three kids?
So I took a look back through my Facebook posts, and sure enough I would agree that my tone was a bit dark. If there was a headline for my social media presence, it would have been “Sleep-Deprived Mom Is Having a Hard Time Adjusting To Adorable New Baby.”
Now, I am an advocate for being open with your feelings, especially the uncomfortable or “negative” ones. In a world so focused on happiness, it feels like my own tiny version of anarchy. So while I wouldn’t change anything I’ve said (and I think we could all do with a little more talking about the hard stuff), the truth is my posts are not a fair representation of life since Ander was born.
Yes, it’s true that this third little human is rocking our world. Yes, he doesn’t sleep through the night yet and that’s throwing us for a loop since both the girls did very early. Yes, we are definitely still adjusting and there have been hard moments. Yes, all of the glorious free time I had is almost completely gone. And…..the impact Ander is having on our lives goes far beyond the lack of sleep and change in dynamic. I just haven’t written about it as much. Until now.
This is a love letter to my son, Ander.
I love your sweet, little head. How soft it is, the shape of it, what it smells like. I could kiss your head a million times a day, and some days I think I come close.
I love how funny you think your coughs are. For every honest cough, there are four fake ones following close behind. Cough, smile. Cough, smile. Cough, giggle.
I love how you sing. All. The. Time. Well, maybe it’s more of a screechy yelling, but it sounds like music to me.
I love your big, slobbery, open-mouth kisses and the noises you make when you give them - half yelling, half laughing. I get nervous every time you lean in because I can never tell if this will be the time that you bite me instead. I know it’s coming.
I love when I look in the mirror at the end of the day and discover my hair half out of my bun, my makeup smeared across my face, and splotches of slobber/food/boogers all over my shirt because we were having so much fun.
I love how in love you are with your sisters. No one else can make you laugh like they can. When we pick them up at school, your little legs start wiggling like a dog wagging its tail, and your face lights up. We should all love someone that much - to be so excited to see them that our butts wiggle and our faces light up.
I love seeing you with your dad. Nose to nose; a King and his Prince. I get so excited when I think about the adventures you’ll go on, and how he’ll initiate you into manhood. You came at the perfect time, my love. Your father has never been more prepared to be the man you’ll need - present, self-aware, and strong.
I love that you love me so much. Like that one day when you clapped when I came to pick you up from Grandma’s. And how happy you get when I lift you out of your crib after your nap. And how you’ll crawl over to me, and on top of me, when I’m sitting on the floor with you. And how you lean your head into me when you get shy around a stranger. My heart bursts open about 14 times a day.
I love how you’ve changed me. There is something very different about being the mother of a boy. I don’t know how to explain it, but I feel softer. More patient. More gentle.
I love how you’ve changed my perspective. Because you are our last, I find myself being very present in all of the tiny moments - the post-nurse cuddles, reading a book, showing you something new. All of these moments I rushed through or didn’t notice with the girls, I’m getting them all again, remembering how it was. Thank you for giving me all those moments back. You are a living scrapbook.
I see you, my sweet, gentle giant. Wide-eyed, curious about the world, taking it all in. You show me exactly who you are a hundred times a day.
I love you, I love you, I love you. Today, tomorrow, forever.