It was one of those moments
the kind of moments so filled with magic and joy that you can feel yourself experiencing it.
You know while it is happening that it is special
that your hippocampus is on overload with the instantaneous ignition,
of a bright and fiery memory that will be fixed in your mind for the rest of you life.
Through the process of pregnancy, the death of Camille, pregnancy with Harlow and than the first couple months of Harlow's life...there are recurrent thoughts...One of them is how much I wanted to grow my family, how much I know I will love all of my children completely. Another thought which I know is common among second or third time mothers (even mothers who's first child died) is the worry about the love that will be taken away from the first child , the one who taught you what true love really is, when another child is brought into the family. I was worried I would not be able to love another child as much as I love Kai, but I do. I was worried, while deeply grieving, about the way it would affect him. I worried that I was damaging him by being so damaged. I worried that I was not able to shelter his heart, now I worry that I won't be able to shelter two hearts...because mothers want to do this. I have shed tears in the past couple months about guilt over not being able to give him the attention that an only child is accustom to receiving. He requests to cuddle and I have to say "please wait, I have to finish nursing Harlow, burping Harlow, changing Harlow". I know it is not a bad thing for a child to develop more independence and what time I have to split up between care for my children will hopefully be made up in companionship of a sibling.
I have been thinking of ways I could retain, sustain, build my relationship with my son. Ever since Kai was a tiny baby we have read to him, he has his own shelf completely packed with books. In our library downstairs he has his own shelves. We read to him throughout the day, after bath every night and before bed. We started with board books, and then short stories, we have moved on to more involved short stories. Kai is 3.5, he says things like "well actually" and "I suppose", his vocabulary is extensive and that may be because he is exceptional or because we talk to him like a person and not a baby, or because we read a lot of books...maybe it is a combination of all of these things.
One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting on the couch with my older brother and my mother while she read novels to us . She read us Black Beauty, Sea Star, Misty of Chincoteague. She read The Boxcar children and Peter Hale. I remember my mothers voice and her inflections, feeling warm and safe, loved and taken to another place. I loved the evenings on the couch.... and so the other day I decided to start reading him chapter books. I wasn't sure if he was old enough or his attention span long enough, but I thought that maybe this would be the way I could spend some special time with Kai, help ease my guilt as well as be something we could both look forward to. So while I was shopping at the money suck store (Target- go in to purchase welcome mat, leave spending $100) I decided that our first chapter book would be Charlotte's Webb. I told Kai that we were going to start reading chapter books, there weren't a lot of pictures but he would like to listen to the story. He was excited and asked to start reading it when we got home.