An Open Letter To My Second Child On Mother’s Day
Dear Second Child,
Someone once told me that second babies are like ‘wild flowers.’ I thought it was a strange simile. Yet this mother’s day, the second one since you have been born, I am beginning to understand the profoundness in it.
In retrospection of this figurative term, I realize it couldn’t be more correct. You’ve been in our lives gorgeous and significant for 2 years now, finding your own sunshine to blossom. This mother’s day, I dig into the recesses of my motherhood and find myself having done things differently for you not because you are less special but just because as a more seasoned mother, I am more confident of my abilities.
This mother’s day I don’t feel sorry that your baby shopping wasn’t a well- thought, meticulously planned affair like your older brother’s was. Your dad and I rummaged through some of your brother’s out grown stuff and found that we could use a lot of it. We saved that money and bought you an education plan instead.
This mother’s day I don’t feel sorry that we were so accepting towards ‘hands-me-down’ things from friends and relatives. Your baby stroller, some odd clothes here and there, your baby-blanket were all in perfectly usable condition and we appreciated that family and friends were trying to reach out. With all this accepting, we hope to teach you the value of gratification and opening your hearts towards support.
This mother’s day I don’t feel sorry that your firsts weren’t fussed over as much as your brother’s.
I didn’t miss the first time you rolled over and turned over. We just don’t have a baby book documenting your firsts. We celebrated everything about you, just like your brother’s but we didn’t let the celebrations linger long. We had to move on, to other things. Somewhere, we hoped to teach you about joy, savouring and moving on.
This mother’s day I don’t feel sorry about making you sleep on the go. Of course your sleep has been important and your routine can’t be disturbed. But I also want you to meet your aunts and uncles and enjoy the little things your brother missed because I wouldn’t take a sleeping child out of the house! Besides I knew there would be no third babies and your father and I loved carrying you around while you slept in our arms.
This mother’s day I don’t feel sorry for introducing you to fast food so early in life. You graduated to full meals faster than your brother. As a mom of two, let’s say I couldn’t prepare separate food for you for long. You shared your first pizza with us way earlier than your brother. And we are so glad you enjoyed this because it meant that we could say ‘bye-bye’ to baby food and take our first road trip with you! We could introduce you to the beautiful world of food and flavours! You have evolved as a great eater.
This mother’s day I don’t feel sorry for not being able to pick you up as soon as you cried. This weekend everyone was remarking at what a happy baby you are and at your resilience. When I haven’t been around, your brother has reached out for you. To hold you and kiss you and to console you with a ‘It will all be fine.’ With this I have given you both the joy of compassion, of brother and sister bonding, of caring for each other.
So though I have not loved you like your bother, I have loved you no less. Sometimes I do feel guilty that I have not provided you with the absolute undivided attention that I did to your brother, but then again, I know you have something that your brother never did: a more experienced, secure and a stronger mom. A mom who has spent more time loving you than Google.
I have loved you differently because I am a different mom the second time round. I have learnt my parenting lessons with your brother, made my mistakes and hopefully am a better mom to you. I am a mom who loves you to bits, First Child, Second Child, it doesn’t matter.