My third submission of love, I have to admit, was a bit disquieting when I initially read it. Either you’ll see why, or you won’t. Either way, I don’t want to bias you against this post because as I re-read it, I began to think, how awesome it was. I mean, how often I had I wished that my mother would see me as an individual child instead of simply one of four. This post is an unabashed love letter from Leslie, a stay at home mom of three and mommy blogger. She lives in Austin, Texas. She blogs over at The Mommy Therapy.
I stumble over the phrase, “my daughter” in everyday conversation. It shocks me when I walk into her room filled with pink accents and a closet full of dresses. Her feminine name still sounds awkward, but beautiful, coming out of my mouth. I am so very, completely in love with her. I feel drawn to her. I hold her and whisper my love for her over and over because I can’t think of any other words worth saying to her in the moments that are just for the two of us, like rocking her to sleep or cuddling with her while the boys nap. It’s beyond me…it’s amazing.
Now, before my mother reads this and sends me an email explaining her concern for these types of blog entries because my boys might one day read this and feel less loved, I must point out what I feel is obvious. Stella is my third baby, not my only one, and I love and adore each of my children equally. I am in no way implying, or straight up stating, that I love her more than the boys. But right now…oh she’s my favorite for the peace she brings. Aiden and Cole, if you are reading this and feeling less loved, sorry, but you should have cried less and slept more…I do love you immensely though.
Things are simply different with her, especially at this point, than they were with the boys. The boys had acid reflux and cried without any chance of consolation. They woke and ate constantly. They were restless sleepers when they were asleep and rarely slept more than 4 or 5 hours in a row until they were 4 months old. They consumed me. They drained me. I had to give all of myself to them constantly for the first 3 months of their lives and it was rough. I loved them desperately and would do it again for them (unless I could have them and skip that part, I mean why would I want the torture?), but I didn’t have the opportunity to peacefully enjoy the first days and weeks of new life in one of my children, until now.
Everyone asks me if it feels different to have a little girl specifically. In a word, yes. But, why is difficult to pinpoint. I mean, some things are so clear, like clothing covered in hearts and baked goods versus construction vehicles, or as basic as pink versus blue, but that isn’t it. At times, the differences resonate with me so profoundly in everyday moments, but I can’t quite articulate them. Some of the differences I feel are truly because she is a girl, and some are probably more because she is my third and let’s hope final baby which makes her the light at the end of my baby tunnel (maybe not a good expression because this definitely sounds more birth canal than part of an analogy, but you know what I mean,) thank goodness…I think.
I feel irrational pride over how adorable she is, though I do feel it is not even subjective, she just is adorable. While getting the boys’ haircut last week a woman waiting next to us was staring at Stella. I turned and smiled at the woman and she half talked, half gasped, “your baby is beautiful!” She continued to comment on her delicate features and gorgeous skin. I felt an irrational surge of pride of my child’s appearance that I never felt with the boys, and I think I have good looking boys. My little girl could be…pretty! It was ridiculous on so many levels. I was embarrassed of my pride about such a shallow thing, and even more embarrassed that I felt this about my daughter but never had felt this about compliments on my sons’ looks. What’s next? Would I start telling my boys to be smart, make a lot of money and be funny and they could have everything they would want in life? Ridiculous stereotypes.
I do love to dress her, something that rarely gave me joy with the boys. I feel like I have this smaller, much cuter version of me that I get to dress in crazy things like large bows on her head or bold print dresses that come with matching underwear covers. I could never wear that since no one wants to see my large butt covered in a bold print bloomer, but I love that my daughter can.
I had always felt that girls were more peaceful babies, though I do know there are exceptions to this. Stella is immensely peaceful. I find her lying in her bassinet, quiet and smiling at the ceiling, amused and satisfied by herself. Both my boys would have been crying and squirming to have someone come save them from this private moment. She fusses when she gets tired and is only pacified by me putting her down and leaving her alone to rest. I can not describe the immense joy I feel at her not needing me every moment. She is bliss.
I left her in the middle of my bed starting at a ceiling fan for 30 minutes today. Every time I walked by she was smiling at the fan. When I stuck my head over her to say hello she glared at me as if I had interrupted her private joy with watching the fan…how dare I? I love that she was that independent. (Dear Lord, please help me remember this gratitude of independence during our first fight over makeup, clothing, curfew, etc.)
I could go on and on. She has been an immediate joy with no effort from me. I always felt I was working to love the boys in amongst all my work just to survive with them. This is heaven to just be with her, love her and feel like she is adding to me rather than trying to rob me of me. I know, this is possibly helped by this being my third and all the perspective that comes with that, but she is different. She is heaven. She is my little girl.