For Sentimental Reasons

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As my due date gets closer and closer (April 4, by the way…), I find myself getting a little sentimental about my Bean Man.  I think it’s the idea that soon it won’t just be him anymore.  And even though I know in my head I’ll have more than enough love to go around, I worry about how much time I’ll have to go around.  Newborns are quite the time suck (no offense, Gracie) and I remember that when Bean was born, it was even hard to balance time between Bean and Chris.  And Chris was a grown man who understood what was going on.  Bean won’t understand and though I’d like to think I’ll be able to balance two children perfectly, I know that it takes a while to regain your balance when you add something else to your plate.  And I’m worried that during that transitional time while I learn to be a mother to two babies, Bean won’t get what he needs from me.

This morning I found myself in an empty house after Chris left for work and I had dropped Bean at daycare. Before I assumed my position on the couch, I wandered into Bean’s room to straighten up from the morning rush. And for the first time in a long time, I walked around touching his things, remembering what fun we’ve had in the past 20 months, and, oddly enough, missing Bean.

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I stopped and looked at this picture of me and Bean, taken by our church photographer last Mother’s Day.  We had just found our church and I remember sitting in the pew on Mother’s Day morning and hearing our minister talk about the important role a mother plays in the life of her children. He talked about how she is the voice they hear in the back of their minds as they go through life. And I remember praying that God would give me the strength to be strong for Bean so that the voice he heard was confident and steadfast.

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I stopped and looked at his little bookshelves, full of his favorite toys and games and books. And I thought about last Christmas and the Christmas before that when Bean got most of those things. I remembered his first Christmas and how he was the same height as his stocking. I remembered this past Christmas when he was a year older and seemed to understand more about what was going on. Christmas was so much better because he was there.

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I saw his Curious George and Papa Bear stuffed animals that belonged to Chris when he was Bean’s age. And I smiled as I pictured Bean walking through our house, dragging those two characters at his sides. Since we gave them to him together, he hasn’t separated them. Where Curious George goes, Papa Bear goes. And vice versa. He’s a loyal little creature of habit, that Bean of mine. Just like his Daddy.

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I peered into his toy chest and smiled when I saw Nemo on top of the heap. And it made me think about Bean’s first birthday when we took him to Animal Kingdom at Disney World to celebrate with our family. I remember thinking at that time that Bean was such a big boy. I couldn’t imagine him getting any bigger. And I couldn’t imagine loving him any more. I was wrong on both counts.

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And as I walked out of his bedroom, I stopped at his dresser for a minute and looked long and hard at our first family picture, taken the day he was born. The happiest day of my life. It was the day we became a family.  At the time, I remember telling people that we had Bean because Chris and I loved each other so much it spilled over and made a baby. And, you know, I guess growing our family isn’t much different. Except this time, Gracie was born out of not just the love that Chris and I have for each other, but from the love that we have for Bean. He was a product of Chris and me and Gracie will be the product of the love that grew out of my Bean, out of my Micheal. And when I think about it like that, it doesn’t seem as overwhelming to bring another person into our family. Instead, it just feels like Gracie’s always been here. Right there inside of Bean’s sweet little heart.

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24 thoughts on “For Sentimental Reasons

  1. Okay, so you totally just made me cry at work. So much I want to say. I remember being worried and completely sentimental as I neared my due date with baby #2. I didn’t worry about loving the new baby. I only worried about how it would effect my 21-month-old little bubba! My one and only son. How could he possibly know that I love him the same if not more when we were about to turn his life upside down? I can’t explain it but when Brigham was born, it just happened. Everything fell into place. We were a family of four and it was perfect, just as God planned. I look at both my boys now. Not only do we love them but they love EACH OTHER! And that has helped me to become a better mom to both of them. Seeing them as siblings is so special. Teaching them how to love and respect one another. It adds a whole new level to my role as a parent. Of course it challenges me on a daily basis and definitely challenged me in the beginning. But there’s nothing better, really, than seeing your first born become a big brother. It’s amazing.

  2. It feels disloyal to your first baby, I know. But don’t waste time worrying about that, because it’s not. Siblings are the best gift you can give a child. The gift that keeps on giving, especially after they are all they have left.
    I had to tell you that I have a red head for a daughter, who is 18 now, and in her room there is a shelf of red headed dolls, gifts from her grandmother (my mother). It made me cry to see Gracie’s shelf because I know some day my daughter will be looking at her own in preparation for her child.
    Tears, but happy ones.
    God Bless, and can’t wait till she is here.

  3. Amy

    What a lovely post — what sweet memories 🙂 What beautiful promise & hope in the memories to come….

  4. ps. my birthday is April 5. What’s one more day? lol

  5. GREAT post!!! You SO got me here and I’m in tears! Your love WILL grow and it ALL will work out, it always does!!

  6. You make me so excited to have my baby girl Zoey at the end of June! Great post Katie!!

  7. Sarah H.

    So so sweet. Trying not to tear up at work 😉

  8. Rita F

    This was such a sweet post. Thank you for the daily smile you bring me.

  9. Ahh–you make me want to go wake up my finally-taking-a-nap baby and squeeze him! I love your perspective on how Bean has brought you Gracie. You guys have such a beautiful family!

  10. Ginny

    I’ve already been a bit of an emotional wreck today and now I’m kind of dry heaving sobs… awesome. Such a sweet post. If you want to ship Gracie up here to her Aunt Ginny for awhile to spend more time with Beanie, I wouldn’t mind. 🙂

  11. Erin R.

    My eyes were so teary near the end that I could barely see to read! Great post, Katie (as always).

  12. Oh sweet merciful crap, I’m not overly hormonal any more but this made me tear up. Beautiful post. Gracie is one lucky girl to be born into that kind of love.

  13. kathy

    Oh my gosh, this was such a sweet post. The thought of having another child has crept into my head lately, but I just look at my daughter and I feel so sad to think that she might not understand why I wouldn’t have as much time for her. But I know down the road she would probably be so happy to have a sibling. I’m torn.
    Anyway, I love this post.

  14. Curse you, Katie Brown, for making me want to get pregnant again like right this instant!!! Good thing Aaron’s out of town…And just kidding about the curse part, of course!

  15. this is precious. and you are absolutely right. your love will double – not divide!

  16. Jayne

    I heard this from a friend who has 2 boys, one year apart from each other. She said that when kids have siblings, you give them the opportunity to learn how to share, to care for another, to be responsible, to love another person, to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around him/her alone, to never be alone again etc. So much there. So Katie, bringing Gracie to the world is probably the greatest gift you can give yourselves and Bean. Probably better than Curious George and Papa Bear :-).

  17. Meghan

    Katie, take some time over the next few weeks to just snuggle Bean, and maybe do something special with him (as your back allows) to create some special memories of these days. Bringing that second child into your family is wonderful and beautiful, but it does change things with your first and so it is a little bittersweet. I love both my boys to pieces, and I’m so glad I have two and they have each other, but there is something special about the first and how you can devote 100% of your focus and energy to them. Just before Colin was born, Emmett and I had a special day where we rode the carousel at the mall and had lunch or a snack or something together. It wasn’t anything remarkable, but it is such a fond memory because it was just he and I, spending time just the two of us. No need to balance time with him vs. time with Colin, no comparisons between what one child was getting/doing/experiencing vs. the other……just a moment with my firstborn I’ll always cherish.

  18. Amy

    Katie, I’d like to tell you it gets easier, but that would be lie. My three are 12, 10, and 7; it’s still the first one that I worry about not spending as much time with……all this is heightened right now because my 7 year old was diagnosed with leukemia in January. I find myself worrying more about what I’m not being able to give to the older two than what she is going through at the hospital. God’s grace is sufficient! You will get it right, at least most of the time. And when you don’t, Bean man will forgive you 🙂

  19. You made me cry! This was the sweetest post I think you’ve ever written about Bean. Gracie is going to fit perfectly into your little family.

  20. This was the sweetest thing that I’ve read in so long. Michael is so blessed to have parents who love him this much…and Gracie will be too. 🙂

  21. Danielle

    Like everyone else I’m sure…this made me choke up a little bit…I’m not a mother yet, but I’m 26 years old, and this made me miss my own mom so much. So much because she’s 3 hour trip away and I miss her every day. I love what your pastor said about mothers being in the back of our minds as we go through life…that is so true.

  22. Thank you for letting us walk through your memories and through beans room with you. Those were beautiful words. Makes me that much more excited to get my own little family started. 🙂

  23. Oh my goodness. This was a bit much for my poor pregnancy-addled brain. I’m afraid I have the weepies now. Beautifully written and perfectly said.

  24. I’m not pregnant and you made me cry! You are such a good mom..! you’ll do wonderfylly with Gracie and I know in my heart that you’ll manage to balance time for Gracie and for Bean.. Lots of blessings Katie!

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