Friday, November 13, 2009

"There are such words as joy and sorrow."

I have beautiful children. Really, I know all moms say that, but I can't help it. They're beautiful. They are the joy of my heart and the light to my day.

(I told you...beautiful!)

When my daughter, now 2 and almost a half, was born, I remember sitting for hours, just staring at each other. Day after day was filled with this most mundane, but delightful of activities. Many times while we sat and stared at each other, I would take picture after picture of her many expressions. I have picture and video of everything she did from the beginning--oodles of digital and real space brimming over with photo-documentaries of my first born.

Then along came the New Guy. I always promised myself that I wouldn't ever let my child suffer from "Second Child Syndrome"--that curious lack of photographs of the second child. Obviously, I would love them both equally and each moment would be as important to me with him as with my daughter. We did great at the hospital--got lots of photos of him, even more than we had of my daughter. And for the first couple of months, we did pretty well too. We sat and stared at each other (when big sister would let us). I worked on catching his first smiles. But things are busier when you have a toddler as well as a newborn...and then the clutter began to take over again.

I had a serious nesting phase before each of my children were born, and with my second, I eliminated a lot of clutter and STUFF before he came because I felt like we definitely needed to "make room" for the new addition. However, just a few months after he was born, the house started to fill again, and I, caught up in this new world of two children, was letting things slide. I found myself doing something that I now think of as unforgivable...something I only just realized I had been doing. I was skipping over memories because I was too ashamed of the STUFF.

As I look through the photos I have of my children, I realize that my son does indeed suffer from Second Child Syndrome. There are very few photos of him, at least in comparison to his older sister. I used to think that it had more to do with how busy I was, or the fact that I didn't notice the milestones as much with him, since she had already been through them.  As I look back, though, I realize that isn't the case. I also started to notice a sharp decline in the number of recent pictures of my daughter. I can look back and think of all the times--many times, too many times--that one of my children in the past few months has done something adorable, or picked up a funny habit, or hit a new milestone, and instead of grabbing the camera to record it, I have thought to myself, "Ugh...this house is too big a mess. I'll get a video of this once I get it cleaned up." It turns out, I just let a lot of precious memories slide. The piles of books stayed piled up, the too-much furniture stayed in the house, the baskets designed to organize just filled with more STUFF.

All these things I bought, I see now, out of pride. Magazines, television, they told me I needed things to be a better person--to look better to those around me. Unfortunately, all those things did was make me ashamed of my own home, of my gross excesses, of my inability to reign it in. Now I've sold and tossed and donated most of the stuff that was once in my home...and the only things I want back are the memories of my children that I let slip away in exchange for all the garbage around me.

Sorrow for lost joy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I LOVE comments. I LIVE for comments.
You can leave one here!