Ok, so I am a self-professed queen of stupid questions, but veteran moms please oblige me.
How on earth do you manage to love more than one miniature cross-section of yourself? I am in my fifth month of pregnancy, and for the past couple weeks, all I can think about is how I am going to love both my son, and this little girl? My son still needs/wants lots of attention from me. He is six years old, and supremely attached.
When I follow him to the bathroom to make sure that he poops after school (he refuses to poop in public), he often hugs me either before or after sitting to do the deed. In that moment, where it feels like we are going to melt into one another- I try to be present. I think of his warmth, and the way he smells, and his little fingers on my back. Then my mind drifts, and I am like-you mean to tell me I can love another person like I love him?
Seems impossible to me.
After what seemed like eons of contemplation, I had to call in some reinforcement. Or maybe it called me.
My boyfriend-who is the most sagacious man I have ever met-comes into our bedroom the other night, as I am scrolling through Tik Tok, and asks if I am okay.
“Yeah, babe. I am fine. Just thinking.”
I pull the covers up, and stretch my legs.
He kneels at the foot of the bed, and rests his elbows on top of it.
He is an air sign. Even though, how? He is an Aquarius, which in my highly-organized mind, should make him a water sign.
The air sign people love to idly chat. Or so I am told.
That is never the case with me, but I am learning to go with it. I take a beat to think, because Mom Brain has me sounding like a cross between Michael Eric Dyson and Pootie Tang these days.
“I am thinking about how I am gonna love another kid. Like, whether or not I even have the capacity.”
I sigh because I know full well that he has no idea what I am saying.
“What do you mean?”
He looks at me like he is very confused. As if what I have said makes absolutely no sense.
“I am saying, you know how much I love Levi, right? I am wondering how I am supposed to do that again, with another baby. Like, is it even possible? I know it sounds crazy, but I know what I am trying to say. I guess when she gets here, I will prove to myself that it’s something I can do.”
I feel crazy now.
“Yeah, I am really not getting it.”
He almost rolls his eyes.
“This conversation would really only make sense to another woman.”
He looks surprised. I just sit there wondering why I opened up about it in the first place, since I am the only one who knows how I feel about mothering. He sees me every day. He watches me be Levi’s mother, and a mother-figure to his daughter. But he has no idea what goes through my head when I see my son in the morning, or how the curls atop his head and their powdery smell alight my heart. How could he possibly understand my fear, and my confusion regarding the new life that I am carrying?
I end the conversation by asking what we are going to eat. I decide that the only person who might actually understand what I am saying is my mother. It’s too late to call, so I sit with my thoughts as I eat dinner with my love. Bob’s Burgers plays in the background.
“Hi baby. How you doin’?”
“I’m good. I just have a question.”
“What is it?”
“Well, I’ve been thinking about how Levi has been my only baby for six years, and I’m wondering how in the world I’m going to love another baby like I love him.”
“Ahhhhh, I understand what you mean. Don’t worry about that. You will have enough love. More than enough to go around.”
I don’t know how to explain it, but in that very moment, I knew exactly what she meant. I decided that I wouldn’t worry about it anymore. My mom said I would know what to do, so that meant I would.
End of story.
I wish I had the words to explain how different it is-the love I have for each of them, but maybe I’m not as good with words as I think. When I see Levi’s face, I want to smile immediately. For seemingly no reason. He is joy personified. Always so happy, and so sweet. Depending on the time of day, I can predict what is on his mind, or what he might want to eat. And Stori-well she is me. Although I can’t wait until she starts smiling purposefully, her eye rolls and scowls resonate with me. We are both Earth sign folks, so to watch her be visibly unimpressed with her time on this planet is hilarious.
Caring for both of them simultaneously can be difficult, but as my mom said-I have enough love to go around, and that’s pretty much all we need.