The second part of this week was almost exclusively Peabody-centered, thanks to a little cold his Daddy passed along and the imminent arrival (I hope!) of his TWO bottom front teeth. He's been grumpy and clingy and unable to eat or sleep or play with his customary wild abandon, my poor boy.
Keeping him close and comfortable and reasonably happy required heap big Mama-ness, and I constantly snuggled and paced with him all day long except in the few little minutes he'd sleep before he'd wake again, inconsolable. As always, Bean stayed near, watching, waiting, helping where she could, and accepting way less of me than she deserved.
Last night after putting a much-improved Peabody into his crib, I tiptoed into Bean's room and lay down beside her as she rested, waiting for sleep to come. We read books together until she began to yawn, then I pulled her close for a minute and whispered in her ear and kissed her squooshy cheeks and listened to her sigh. Finally I pulled myself away and arose to arrange her covers. Reaching for one last book, Bean sat up again just as I pulled her pink comforter up over her, and my hard knuckle collided with the outside corner of my baby girl's eye.
She cried from the shock of it, and the pain, and for a long time I held her again and rocked her, speaking my profound apologies into the top of her soft, curly head. She tilted her face back and looked into my eyes, and I choked out, "I'm so sorry, lovey, please forgive me. Is it starting to feel better?"
"No," she said, "But it's okay. You're still my best friend anyway, Mama."
And I cried. Much longer than for that tiny bump, and much longer than either of us felt the physical sting of that accidental impact.
I cried because the guilt of the week, the guilt of the past five and a half months of dividing myself unevenly between a tiny new baby and my FIRST baby overwhelmed me. And I realized how much I MISS my own sweet best friend and the special relationship we shared before Peabody came along. I miss being only for her and only with her each day, and I miss the simplicity of just the two of us girls, together.
I'd never, ever, ever change a single thing about my family. Peabody completes us. He's a source of joy to all of us, and as vital a piece of me as my own heart. But someone once asked me, What's the toughest thing about becoming mother to two children after having four years with just one? and while I gratefully celebrate the many wonderful, amazing changes this year and this precious boy have ushered in, the hard part comes not in what life is now, but in what it is no longer.