2 years ago today this morning, I was giving birth to my second child in the guestroom of our home. It was perfectly awesome.
This morning, I was laying in bed thinking about how sometimes the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Last night, our crazy-ass-almost-2-year-old child was running around the house, being his typical boy self. Yep, I said it. The mother who thought she could raise her kids as gender neutral and let them figure out who they were? That was me. And I still believe you can do that. But in our case…he is a rough and tumble boy. Through and through. Our kids are as different as night and day. Connected and flowing through the universe together, inextricably linked, yet incredibly different. It’s beautiful to witness, really.
At 2 years old, she was a talking machine who loved nothing more than to snuggle in our laps and read a good book.
At 2 years old, he is a climbing machine who loves nothing more than to throw most books on the ground after ripping them to shreds and laugh hysterically at whatever his sister is doing to make him smile.
I love watching them together. I am thankful to be a witness to their love.
Last night, Harvey was sick. For the most part, he is fine, and potty training is hopefully not being completely derailed by this bug that has forced us to put him in diapers for the last 36 hours, but he was fairly miserable. Since he has figured out how to climb out of his crib we have allowed them to sleep together most nights, but lately we have been separating them to see if they would sleep better (i.e. LATER in the morning) if they went back to sleeping in separate beds. We tucked the kids in, kissed them goodnight, said our prayers, and left.
By 11pm, he is crying. Not the cry you ignore because he’s whining or complaining or half asleep and having a bad dream, but truly crying. I went in to check on him, changed his diaper again (poor kid), and laid him back down. A few minutes later, he is crying again. I left it for a bit, and then I heard his big sister…
Harvey, are you okay? Harvey, what’s wrong? Harvey, shhhhh… Harvey, do you want to sleep with Deow-wa? [his old name for her, even though he often says Stella now, but we all love the Deow-wa] C’mon Harvey, just climb out of your crib and come sleep with me…
I walk into the room to see him dropping to the ground and padding to her side. Okay then. I tuck him in, kiss them both, and lay down next to them in her queen sized bed while I pray they both go back to sleep. A few minutes later I slip away, hoping to get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep myself.
It was not to be. The crying began again.
Back into their room I crept, scooping him up into my arms and shushing him while asking if he wanted to sleep with Mommy & Daddy (a rare treat). “Uh huh” he replies, so into our room he went.
Insert 6 hours of Charlie and I being intermittently kicked and prodded and slapped while he flopped around in our bed like a fish. That was fun.
At 5am, I hear their bedroom door slide open, and then Stella opens our bedroom door.
Mama, my hands are cold. I kind of had a little accident, and I want to sleep with you and be warm.
Okay kid, crawl in, but on the other side of me so you don’t wake your brother.
Our king bed is feeling full.
For the next hour I’m smashed between the shivering, not actually sleeping, wide awake and trying to fake it four year old, and the snoring, flopping, exhausted 2 year old. I contemplate getting up to work out, but then I decide to just relish in the moment. So rarely are the kids in our bed anymore, and two year ago today we were bringing our child into the world in this very house, thanking our lucky stars and God that our prayers were answered and that we were about to become parents once again.
At 6am after an exhausting, nearly sleepless night for me, Harvey began to stir, and I nudged Charlie awake so that we could sing “Happy Birthday” to Harvey for his first memory of his second year of life.
We may have only had a little bit of sleep last night, but there was a whole lot of love. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Happy birthday, baby.
What a good night.