It is amazing how little time I have to write. It seems like I have plenty of time to think. Although the thinking is often interrupted abruptly and never brought to a conclusion.
We have had so many wonderful friends who have provided food for us over the past almost two months. I have been asked countless times after the initial doting over Lydia, “And, how are YOU doing?”. Dads often look somewhat sympathetic, Moms often look knowingly, and others are just being polite. I stumble through some sort of response that ranges from, “Oh, you know tired but, …. good” to an enthusiastic “Great!”. All based on the amount of uninterrupted sleep I have had the night before, or how content Lydie has been. Though, my response never quite feels satisfying to me.
So I’ve been asking myself, “How ARE you doing?”
Some how life doesn’t feel THAT different, yet at the same time completely turned upside down. On the outside my life looks pretty similar. I’m still home a lot. It is not uncommon for me to be in my pajamas until noon. I stare out the window and think or imagine a lot. I still make a couple trips to Target or HEB each week. I sleep, sometimes. I still hate deciding what to eat for any given meal. I still use ungodly amounts of dry shampoo.
The things that make it feel like I’m standing on my hands are my reasons for being home all the time, the reason I can’t remember if I put a fresh pair of underwear on that day, and what is consuming my thoughts from dawn to dusk. And of course my Target trips are much more hurried. No more leisured perusing of the clearance items for me. Dollar section? What dollar section? I have a list people and a baby that could wake up at any moment!
The reason for the pajama wearing, window-staring before Lydia was born was bred out of an inability to deal with society without my grief still seeping out all of the time, which over time slowly turned into exercising a habit of quietness, stillness and rest. But now, Lydia is my reason for this pace of life. The lifestyle may look similar but the focus has changed. Which has impacted all that was in focus before. And this has taken some major adjusting.
I remember the first time we went to the cabin with Lydia I felt a little uncomfortable the whole time. Which I just attributed to just pure exhaustion at first, but as the day went on I started to realize there was something bothering me. Brooklyn was the first grandchild to ever go to the cabin. I have always felt a bit of connection to her there because it was one of the few places we went with her. Well, that day we brought Lydia there kind of felt a little like forgetting. It felt a little like leaving Brooklyn behind. The new grandchild is in town. And that’s when I first started to consider if my relationship with Brooklyn has changed now that Lydia is here.
I know that people have second babies all the time and any Mom would probably tell you something along the lines of, “My love for my first child didn’t diminish with the birth of my second…my one heart just got bigger.” Well, I think that’s probably true. And those Moms get to chase after their firstborn, hug them, kiss them, tell them they love them and express the love that was there from the beginning. I, however, am left to question. I am left to consider. Has my love for Brooklyn changed with the receiving of another? And, of course the answer is no. But it can feel that way when lately my moments of joy far exceed my moments of despair. When a moment of looking down at my two arms and feeling like they should be holding two babies is distracted by the adorableness of the one I am holding. And this isn’t the only relationship that has been impacted by the newness of my relationship with Lydie-bug. My relationship with Adam has been impacted in new ways, and even my relationship with the Lord has felt different.
I was talking about this with Him the other day. I was telling Him how He was going to need to show me how I could experience Him, feel His presence with me and hear from Him even as my attention is so “taken up” by Lydia and caring for her needs. I told Him none of it would ever feel satisfying if I wasn’t able to experience Him in this new role of caring for her outside of my womb. I started to list off all the things that feel different. And all of a sudden I felt Him respond with something like, “Wait a second. Who am I again? Who do you think you’re talking to?” And He reminded me that yeah, I may have changed, Adam may have changed, what I do with my day or how I experience it may have changed but He has not. He is constant. He’s the same comforter He was in the early days of my grief, He’s the same friend and companion when I was pregnant with Lydia.
My relationship with Him is set in stone. It’s forever. It never changes. Even though I may be experiencing it differently. It’s eternal. As I let this rest in my heart for a bit. I realized that maybe it’s the same with Brooklyn too? My relationship with her is set forever. I will always be her Mommy. She will always be my daughter. No matter how many other children I have. No matter how much more time I get to experience other children here on this Earth. She is always a part of me being a Mommy. After all, she made me one. And now that I get to do Mommy things again with Lydia, I can remember that if Brooklyn were still here, I’d be doing all those Mommy things for her too. Maybe as my Mommy heart grows, as my time with Lydia grows, and hopefully as our family grows, my love for Brooklyn will only grow along with it.
-Brooklyn & Lydia’s Mommy
And here are some pictures because pictures are fun.