Monday, July 16, 2012

differences

I distintly remember before Barrett was born wondering and worrying how he'd compare to the kind, gentle, compassionate, handsome and uniquely wonderful big brother I feared would always overshadow the little brother.

Barrett had one heck of an example to live up to, and I wondered if he would always be second-best. 

But it's funny how differences manifest themselves, and I'm so relieved to have been so wrong and to have my concerns proved simply silly.

Because this new boy is not my doe-eyed, brown-haired, chubby-buns'ed first love, but he is wonderfully different and loved in a whole different way.

He is surprisingly slate-eyed.  He is blonde-haired.  He is smaller than expected, which translates in this Mama's mind to slightly more fragile and deserving of a little extra tenderness. 

And for all Cayden's amazing and beloved qualities, he was a challenging infant.  He resisted sleep, he was never content for any period of time and he brought me to the edge many times with his demanding personality.

This new one, however, couldn't be more different, and for all the worrying I did over how differences could make him "less," I now realize that I never imagined how differences could make him "more," in his own right.

Barrett is a wonderful snuggler.  He is a fantastic nurser, but he's not demanding of my time and patience.  He's easy-going and content.  He sleeps.  He SLEEPS.  He falls asleep on his own, regularly, without endless bouncing, swaying, patting, swaddling and convincing.  And he stays asleep until he quietly and gently rises, sometimes up to four hours later, letting me know so subtlely of his need for a diaper change or snack through squeaks and snorts that Brian didn't wake up a single time last night.

Today was our seventh anniversary.  And what did we do this afternoon?  We went to lunch.  With our quiet, happy, content three-day-old, who didn't wake the entire time we were out.  Taking our baby to a restaurant was unthinkable three years ago, because it would make for a miserable experience for not only us, but everyone around us.

Barrett Ander is so different, and loved in such a different way.  He is showing us his very own place in this family dynamic, and he is proving to us that different doesn't mean better or worse - it means ready to be loved, appreciated and learned from differently

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