Friday, July 16, 2010


Jeff and Anya, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

Our first little girl was so much. She changed us, from a couple into a family of three, from marrieds into marrieds with kids, from people into parents. She was a challenge from day one, and never let us forget who was in control. One hundred percent her own person, she let us know her when she was ready. She was nothing we expected, always a surprise. Never easy.

So many parents say they bonded with their child before they even left the hospital. An instant link, stronger than they ever thought possible.

It didn't work that way for me, the first time. It took longer than I thought it should have, months rather than minutes. I felt terribly guilty for that. But though it was a slower process, the bond is strong, deep, lasting. Enmeshed. Now I can't imagine a world without her, a time without her, as if she was always there, before.

And the second time, it's different again.

The instant bond, it happened. The moment she was in my arms, she was mine and I knew her. The glow was instantaneous. I slipped into the old routines, the ones so hard won, broken in and comfortable. The easy baby they all talk about: zen, calm, predictable. A delight, a snuggler, smiling and relaxed.

Perhaps it's partly due to confidence, a knowledge of my own parenting abilities, or simple genetics, but whatever it is, this time it is easier. This time, the feelings of guilt are for the relief I feel, the ease I didn't have with my first baby. But it is what it is. Every moment with Rowan was worth it, and every moment with Anya is, too. They are just different.

As I typed this, Rowan came down the stairs in her favorite pink nightgown, fuzzy and worn. She sat on the floor next to her sister's bouncy chair, hugged her, and serenaded her with "I love you, a bushel and a peck!" She then came to me, and sang it again, hugging me around my "pretty neck", and ending with a big kiss.

I am so very blessed.


mage2001 said...

I heart you Ronica. leave the guilt behind you. Rowan just broke you in. Anya will thank her. ;)

Kristen said...

It's interesting that you say that about the delayed bonding. I think that is actually the normal process for first time - even often for subsequent - parents. People talk about mother-love as though it was in inborn innate thing that needs no priming. But if you talk to lots of people about this, you find that there is variable grace period after birth in which mothers learn to love their babies.

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