My kids all kind of look alike. They all have my eyes, and Marc’s nose and mouth. They all have dimples.
Sam obviously stands out, simply because he’s got a crew cut. He looks dramatically different. But Julianna and Jessica are virtually the same kid, appearance wise, just seven years apart. Julie has her hair in a ponytail today and I keep getting vaguely confused when I look at her. Because I had a two year old already WHO LOOKED JUST LIKE HER. I was just in my bedroom, snuggling a Julie who was just waking up and looking from her little face over to Jessie’s little face, they both have big brown eyes, perfect skin, gorgeous smiles, and long brown hair, and it’s disconcerting.
Seven years ago, I was hugely pregnant with Samilicious Boy, and terrified of what having another baby would do to Jessie. How would she react to not being my only one? How would I ever love another child as much as I loved her? Jessie, at two years old, almost three – it was a particularly precious time for us. Because I was achingly aware of her, I was soaking up all of the one on one time I could get with her, because I knew it was coming to an end. I think that’s why Julie looking so much like her is really striking to me today. I look back on that time, I was super emotional and pregnant and worried about how I’d handle two kids and if she’d suffer because of it. Probably not unlike every other pregnant mother of one child.
I love having three kids, and I have similar memories of Sam at the same age, but not the same fears. I waited longer to have Julie after Sam was born, so he was about a year older, more independent. And I wasn’t as scared when I had Julie. I knew already that when you have more than one child, you don’t love the first any less. It just multiplies. The first, and the second become no less special – so I don’t remember panicking that I had ruined Sam’s life by having another baby. But I did freak out pretty consistently during Sam’s pregnancy that Jessie’s life would be forever altered by our decision to have another baby. Which, of course, it was. But it’s been a wonderful change, an amazing change, and our lives are so much richer for it.
The point that I’m making here (and you know when I have to state the point that I’ve wandered fairly far off track) is that Julie, today, reminds me an awful lot of a little girl I once had. A two year old bright eyed little munchkin, with big brown eyes, long brown hair in a ponytail, and a pretty little smile. And I worried a lot about her. I worried that she’d never forgive me for having another baby, I worried that she’d be miserable with a baby, that she wouldn’t be my baby anymore.
I was wrong about all of it. When Sam was born, and she came to see me in the hospital, she came in demanding to see her baby brother, and absolutely adored him. And she’s still my baby. Beautiful and tall, so grown up I’m still a little baffled by it, but still, always, my baby. And if I ever start to forget what she looked like… I’ve got Julie to remind me.