Saturday, April 16, 2011

"The" Sibling Post

*Disclaimer to Grandparents: No, this is NOT what you think it is.  Please read on before you start freaking out.

Dear Ian,

A lot of our friends with babies/children your age are either considering having a second child or already in the midst of their second pregnancies.  Of course, now that you are an independant walking, talking, self-feeding little person, we have been getting our fair share of the "When's Ian going to be a big brother?" question ourselves.  The truth is, we don't know.  You were a bit of work to get here in the first place, so having a baby wasn't something that we could just easily decide to do.  So, although I have been told probably a zillion times that since I've had one, the next one shouldn't be that hard, I still am prepared for an uphill struggle to bring a little brother or sister into the world. 

That being said, I have mixed feelings about another baby.  Selfishly, you are a fantastic sleeper, but it took us 6 months to get you there, and that initial sleep deprivation was a doozy.  I didn't think we were going to make it; there's a reason why sleep deprivation is sometimes used as torture on prisoners to get them to talk and such.  Now that you sleep 12 hours a night, I've gotten a little spoiled on getting an average of eight hours of sleep a night.  It's been nice, I have to admit.  I am also a little hesitant to change up our parent lines of "defense" right now.  With just you and me in the house during the day, I run a man-on-man defense against your little toddler power struggles and occasional disciplinary fouls, if you will, since I am talking in sports terminology.  With a sibling added to the mix of "Miss Mommy's Classroom" as we call it, I would have to run more of a zone defense.  That tends to lead to a little more running around like crazy on my part, and I dont know if I'm rested up enough for that yet.

Then there's the big stuff.  The moment you were born, I was hooked on you.  Part of my heart was now laying in my arms, and that was just the most unbelievable feeling in the world.  I know that every time a mommy brings a new baby in the world, their capacity to love just gets bigger rather than splitting and getting smaller, but I worry that I wouldn't be able to share myself and my love equally.  PLEASE dont take that to mean that I wouldn't love your sibling or that my love for you would change.  It's a hard thing to explain.  Your Grandma Davis explained how a Mommy and Daddy's love for their babies is equal by using candles:  Two big candles represented the parents, and the little candles the babies.  The Mommy and Daddy candles lit a small candle, and they all had the same flame (love) and now the light in the room was brighter.  Then the two parent candles lit another baby candle and the love light stayed the same, but now the room was even brighter.  I understand this concept, and I think your Grandma was brilliant for helping us see how we wouldn't be loved less when a new baby came along, but I don't ever want to feel like I am not giving you and your sibling(s) the love you need and deserve.  It's a hard place to be, and I'm not even there!  I'm just thinking about it and it's hard.  

I do believe that we would love to have a sibling for you.  Daddy and his brothers are very close, and I love my brothers a ton, too.  I want you to be able to share your childhood, and later adulthood, with a brother or sister that you can count on to be your friend and family when and if Daddy and I cant be there.  I think that learning to share and compromise with a sibling is a valuable life lesson.  Siblings can also help us learn to take care of others, and you are already such a nurturer to younger babies.  Little Leanna Kitchen comes to play on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and you are so sweet to her.  You help bring her toys, give her patpats and look to me to make things right when she cries.  You worry about her.  It makes me smile. 

A concern I have for you being an only child is that maybe single-child-ness would be hard.  I dont ever want you to feel pressured by us, and I dont want you to feel like all of our hopes and dreams or whatnot are riding on you.  We want you to be your own person and strive to never pressure you, but I can see how if you were an only child, you might also pressure yourself.  I dont know if having a sibling would help that at all, since all first borns seem to be over-achievers, but I think that maybe it would keep the only child from feeling like the parent's "everything."  Does that make sense?  (this is a tough topic to write about, but it has been burning in my brain for a while now.)

Anyhoo...Having a brother or sister isn't always a picnic though. There were and still are times when your Uncles Brian and Gary and I are really upset with each other, and I'm sure Daddy has had his own moments with Uncles Ryan and Kurt.  But the point is, they are our family, and we are lucky to have them.  Sibling rivalry, jealousy, nagging...  Fun stuff to look forward, too, huh?  But then hopefully they become that friend that will be by your side forever, and that is a comforting thought.  In the event that we aren't able to have another child, we are lucky to have cousins for you to grow up with.  Payton is only 2 months older than you, and we are excited about the fact that Uncle Kurt and Aunt Stacey are going to have a little girl soon as well.  You will have plenty of other kids to play with, grow up with and learn from.  And again, they are family, so they will always be there for you.

So, Daddy and I will keep thinking and talking about this.  It's not an easy decision, bringing another child into the world.  Especially when you have already started the world turning for your first child.  There's a quote that I like that says: "The decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."  You definitely are my heart.

I love you,


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