Some days I really feel like I have failed my second-born.
He was born just 20-months after his very, very spirited, high-maintenance sister. She was needy of my attention from the get-go. I mean, this is just a little thing, but a perfect example of the way things were: The day Josh was born was pretty well the same day my 20-month old petite little thing stubbornly exclaimed “I won’t wear diapers anymore!” so, as my newborn son tried desperately to get both attention and basic needs from his mother, I was hoisting Emily’s little heiney up onto the toilet 47 times a day.
Emily was never content to play on her own; and Josh always was. Emily needed constant feedback; and Josh never did. Emily wanted, nay needed, to do x,y, and z; and Josh was just content to go with the flow. An easy baby. A baby I thanked my lucky stars for. He napped (Emily never did), he liked the car seat (Emily never did), he liked the stroller (Emily never did). EASY. requiring very little effort.
(so maybe I didn’t put enough in? maybe I didn’t put any in…)
Josh NEVER got any time to have me, just me, his mommy, without Emily. Well, maybe he did. once. I schlepped Josh with me on Emily’s play dates. I schlepped Josh to Emily’s music classes and dance classes and swimming classes. Josh got the old organized-class shaft, because I couldn’t very well sign Josh up for something – what would I do with Emily? right?
and when he was 18-months-old I went back to work. and when he was almost 3, I gave birth to his baby sister. and then somewhere, somehow when I wasn’t looking, my second-born turned 6.
SIX YEARS OLD.
I guess I always thought, naively, and perhaps misguidedly, that I was the girl, so I was the one who would mold the girls into, well, girls. and the husband, well, he was supposed to do the BOY molding. what the hell did I know about boys? But the husband, well, he didn’t. He didn’t teach Josh to ride his two-wheeler. He didn’t go to the park to play catch. He didn’t drag Josh’s ass onto the ice to improve his hockey skills. He didn’t put up a basketball net. He didn’t help him with his swimming. He didn’t help him with his THs. He didn’t arrange play dates for him. He just didn’t do these things. so, I blame him. Often.
but really, I should be blaming MYSELF. Yes, ME. The husband didn’t do these things for several reasons I’m sure (and I used to always think it was because his father didn’t do them with him) but mostly, it was because he couldn’t. I needed him at home. I needed his help. I needed a break. I needed him to work late so he could drive morning carpool. I needed him to work late so he could take the kids to the dentist. I needed him to work late so he could take Isabella to see Dr. Dots.
Now Josh is SIX YEARS OLD.
and I have failed him.
Because he was an easy child. Because he was EASY. and life was hard.Â and between my work and my work and my work, he was hit the hardest, because he demanded the least.
In a week from today, I will officially switch from being a work-in-an-office from 8am to 4pm mom (plus all the work I do each night on the jobs that “aren’t my day job”) to being a full-time work-at-home mom. and in a week from today, I will begin a very important project that involves someone very important.
I am being given a gift. It is a gift I don’t deserve. But it is one that HE DESERVES SO BLOODY MUCH. I will be taking him to t-ball and helping him with his catching. I will be arranging play dates. I will be listening to him read (holy crap…my son, his reading, it’s ridiculous. He may even read better than I do). I will be reminding him to stick his tongue between his teeth when he says “teeTH.” I will help him find the things he’s truly passionate about. I will set aside time in my day for “Mommy and Josh.” I will learn about transformers and bakugons and light sabers and chaotic and pokemon and try to understand what’s so cool about them. except Transformers. I already know what’s cool about them. I will teach him to ride his two-wheeler.
I don’t want to see this anymore. I want to drag Emily to something that’s HIS.
and I can’t wait to see the star he’s going to become. The star I know he is. We just have to find it. together.