Saturday, January 31, 2015

Dear Second-Born: {Why There is Less Photographic Evidence of Your Existence}

Dear Second-Born,

I feel like I will be owing you an explanation one day. Being the baby of my family, it was a big deal to me as well.

Early on, I noticed a significant difference between the number of photos of my older brother as a baby and myself as a baby. From that point on, I found every reason to conclude that my brother was the favorite. No matter what my parents said, their actions, or lack of photos of me, spoke louder than their words. It wasn't until I was a parent of multiple children that I truly understood their point of view.

I can guarantee that you too will find less photos of you as a baby. This is my way of telling you why.

It's not a carpe diem thing. It is definitely not a YOLO thing.

It does has a small something to do with your sister wanting to crash the photos of you so you're not always alone. It does have a little to do with my post-partum depression, but not enough to make that an excuse.

Honestly, it's a good and valid reason. It has more to do with me than you.

When your sister was born, having a baby was new. I thought I would forget everything about her. The way she curled up in my arms. The way she would have her eyes half open as she slept in case she missed the action. The way her arm moved two centimeters from the original position. I was on a mission to document her existence for ever hour of her life. Surely I would forget every little thing about having a newborn.

Then, you came along almost 2 years to the day after her.  I started to feel that same urgency. I obviously was going to forget everything about you as a baby. I would miss it so much, and I must therefore document it all!

Then a change happened. A new voice in my mind started to emerge and clear its throat. It reminded me that I was going to miss things. If I concentrated so much on getting the best pictures, I would miss the best pictures of all, mental pictures.

In the time it took to get the perfect shot of you resting on my chest without my photo including my quadruple chin, you would wake up. In the time it took for you to look at the camera while getting the focus just right, your sister would rush in and it would turn into a picture of you both instead of just you.

After a few months of realizing that I was missing out on the best memory joggers, I decided to take less photos. Don't get me wrong; when I took some, I would take plenty. However, we possess fewer photos of you as a young baby than we do for your sister.

My love for you is not less. My admiration for you is not less. Your baby book is still being filled out like sister's. We are putting money in an education fund for you, just like your sister. We are spending time with you. We will help you with your homework. We kiss your boo-boos. We give you big hugs. We pray for you.

From one baby of the family to another, I can understand how that might sound like an easy out, but I can promise that you'll finally understand if or when you have multiple children yourself :)

I love you!

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