Friday, April 26, 2013

living in the good times

When you find out you are pregnant with your second child, it is a different set of emotions from the first.

With the first one, it is excitement and new and fear and the unknown.
There are tons of belly rubbing and dreaming and planning and preparation.
Everything is beautiful and centered around the new adventure.
It is a journey, that together with your husband, you worry every minute you are doing wrong but have no choice but to make up as you go. 
It is beautiful.
Everything around you is beautiful...
It is a completely new life.

With the second, it is different from the start.
You know how to do most of it-- and realize the things you don't will come with time.  (whether you want them to or not).  You have long forgot what it feels like to not have a child in your arms, and even when you squint your eyes and try really hard to remember, you honestly have no idea what you once did on Friday nights.
Since you have a child already, who is alive and before you that already accompanies your thoughts, sometimes the pregnancy itself takes the back burner and gathers less conversation.  It is exciting, don't get me wrong, but a lot of the excitement stems from sharing this experience with your child you already have. 
Most moms I know worry at some point how the older sibling will handle the transition or if they could love another child as much as the first.
I never had that.
I knew Maddox would be an amazing older brother and I knew I could love 15 kids as much as I loved him.

Lance and I had practice.
Not only did we have 2 nieces at this point who had stayed the night with us and ran errands and let us play mommy and daddy a few times-- but we had Baby Paige.
A foster baby,
who we kept whenever we could.
I remember one Christmas that we kept her through my entire break.
I actually drove to take her back and my friend made the comment that she wished she could have just stayed with me...
I didn't call Lance, I just drove back to our apartment with a baby carrier in my hand.
And he smiled.
She was a great baby.
She trusted us and though she was brand new-- and we had no kids of our own-- God gave us patience and knowledge on what she needed from he and I.
Which was mostly attention.
And love.
It was through her, that I knew Lance would be a great daddy.
He held her and kissed her and woke up during the night to help me with her.
He made sure we had her bow everywhere we went and he cried with me when we found out that she was going back to her birth mommy.
I can still remember where we were sitting and the exact conversation that we had.
We prayed together that this blank canvas that we saw in Baby Paige could become something wonderful... and better than what she came from.

We were not married, but we both knew that if we could have kept her, we would have driven to the courthouse and made it final, because our love for her was deep and true.
We would have loved her as our own.

So Paige prepped us for Maddox.

And Maddox pepped us for Beckham.

And though I never worried that Beckham wouldn't be wrapped in love to the depth that Maddox was already loved nor did I fear Maddox's rebellion to the huge change in our life...
it happened.

He had a rough few weeks when B came home.

My sweet, never pushing the rules child, became defiant and ornery and hard.
I remember questioning myself and wondering how I thought he would miss this stage?
I remember worrying that I did in fact mess up our perfect dimension and if Beckham actually did hurt our relationship with Maddox.
Each time I voiced my fears out loud, however, I got the same response, "a sibling is the best gift you will ever give Maddox.  It will get better."

And it did.

Beckham was such an easy infant-- just like Maddox --just like Paige.
But then he turned 14 months old.
And he was no longer easy.
He was hard and particular and energy consuming.
And since he was not able to communicate, but his older brother was-- there were many many many days where I felt like Maddox endeared the "short end of the stick" as I would take my frustrations out on the child who would actually cooperate with my requests.
I felt like a lot of days I was in competition with myself.
Did I hold them equally?
Did I post the same amount of pictures each way?
Did I say enough positives to cover up my negatives today?
Am I enough?
Will this get easier?
Am I failing?

Again, I would confide in friends and admit that I was harder on Maddox because of Beckham and I felt really guilty for it.
They would say that they all had done the same things and I wasn't hurting Maddox and it was normal and in time it would get easier.
That felt like such a lie.

Beckham finally started talking a couple of months ago, and stopped teething for a minute and has become so enjoyable.
Together they play... all day long.
Both being boys, they are into the same things and can entertain each other.
Maddox is so sweet to his brother and helps him in ways that no one else can.

I am reminded of a comment my Nana made on an older blog once where she told the story of myself and my brother.  She said she would pick us up from school and Weeder would try and practice his spelling words.
Before he could spell them out, I would shout out the answer for him.
Rather than getting mad, he would smile and pat my back and say, "Isn't she so smart Nana?"

And that's Maddox.
He is Weeder.

He is so proud of his brother.
He is so patient.
And he loves him in the same way that Lance and I do.
Every time Beckham learns a new word, or accomplishes something new; Maddox paints him with praise and you see real excitement come over him.
He is so proud.

Beckham adores Maddox.
No matter what Maddox is doing, Beckham wants a part.
At all times, he has one eye on Maddox and one hand ready to mimic his next move.

They are truly best friends.
And I am proud.
Parenting these two, has finally become easier.
{{of course they fight and bite and kick and scream...}}
But even that mess is so much fun!

And now all the advice that I have been given finally makes sense.

Beckham truly was Maddox's greatest gift...
And Maddox is the best example to baby B.

Just to be clear::
I am no fool.
I know it will be hard again.
(who are we kidding, every day something is "hard")
I also realize they are only 2 and 4...
And like everything else in life-- it is a roller coaster until the finish.

But I feel like I have wrote more blogs than I can count on how we are surviving the hard times...
and I just wanted to document this one...
we are living in the good times.


  1. I love this blog.....but If I'm being honest....I kept finding myself reading ahead for you to announce that you are pregnant again, and for some reason I was SURE you were far enough along to share with us that you were having a girl. I've never heard about baby Paige. That brought tears to my eyes. I So so so would love to foster and possibly adopt eventually. I bet you were a GREAT part time mommy to that baby girl!!

    1. That's so funny Casey, because 3 other people have already told me the same thing! (2 being my sister and SIL who would have already known!!)
      We do have a bit of the fever, but no maternity coverage... so it will be another year, most likely, before we act on it!

      ...I have thought about keeping it a secret-- or maybe not finding out the sex though, just to make it more exciting?! (when that day comes)

  2. I should not read your blogs while working... I get emotional and teary eyed while reading the majority of them. I know I should stop bc my patients probably wonder what the heck is going on... but you paint a picture so well with your words I just can't stop reading! Lol. I have had the same thoughts about our baby #2 a lot lately, "Can I love the next one as much as I love Logan", "will I have enough patience"... blah blah... The list goes on and you could not have said it and explained it any better. I will look back at this one day soon for advice and proof that the good days come too :) Thank you for your wonderful blogs! You never know who might be reading that needs to hear exactly what you wrote that day! :)
    -Nocona M

  3. I was reading REALLY fast to get to the part where you said you were expecting!
    Love this post...and your story about sweet.
    When I was pregnant we called our baby BradyPaige. Brady would have been Paige had he been a girl. :)

  4. OK I was waiting for you to say something about baby #3, but it never came. Are you dangling a carrot???

  5. Holly I love reading your blogs!! I never know if I will laugh till I cry, or be so touched that I cry. I had not read any in a while and have been getting caught up ( just had surgery on my foot so lots of down time) Reading this post where you talked about Paige made me miss your face and brought back some good memories :) you have a beautiful family and are as kind, caring, and loving as always. Paige is great, almost 8 already!!! She still stays with us as much as possible. I think about that time in my life and what a blessing it was to be able to offer Paige a fleet of mommies while her own was trying to figure it out. You were always there to help and I appreciated that more then you will know ( in fact I have a pic of you and Paige at the Roanoke fourth of July in my hallway)

    Anyways I always read but never post/comment ( just like FB/ig ) want you to know I think about y'all a lot :) and really do miss ya bunches!!!