I have a really hard time when I see families that have a toddler boy and a baby girl.
It’s jealousy in it’s purest form. I long to have that family. That was the family we were supposed to have. We should have. I see the pictures creep across my Facebook feed. I see the mother trying to quiet her baby girl while entertaining her toddling little boy through the aisles of Target and my heart aches.
Dear mother of two under two,
I see you with your tired eyes and full hands. I see you struggling with two in diapers and wondering if you’ll ever have just five minutes to yourself. I see you stressed and tired and overwhelmed. I see you and oh how I long to be you.
Madeline will turn four months this Saturday and Joshua would be 17.5 months old. Would I still be counting in months? Would I just tell people that he is almost a year and a half?
I’m sure he would be walking and talking by now. Would he have a favorite food? Would he be sleeping through the night? Or would he still be waking up like his baby sister? I’m sure I would have thousands of photographs carefully posed of Joshua kissing/holding/hugging his little sister.
Sometimes I think she sees him.
She will stare at one spot just over my shoulder for the longest time and just smile. I think he comes to visit her. To tell her to take care of us. To let us all know that he is still with us and will be waiting.
I talk to her about her big brother. I call her sis and dress her in shirts that say “little sister.” I put her in outfits (Royals and Chiefs onesies and jerseys) that were bought for Josh – things that would have been passed down to her slightly worn, but instead are brand new. I let her play with our Josh Bear (a Molly Bear that was made to be the exact weight that Josh was when he was born). I tell her that she is special, because not everyone gets to have a big brother up in Heaven looking out for them.
But dammit, it’s not the same. I shouldn’t have to tell her she has a big brother. She should know that, because he should be here with us. He should be stealing her toys and trying to kiss on her. I should be rocking them both to sleep at night and teaching Joshua how to “help” with his baby sister.