To Two


I spent almost ten months saying goodbye to One. My firstborn is no longer my only son, but my Number One. In isolation my husband and I experienced many of his firsts. With struggles and fears we endured scary moments. With laughter and tears we enjoyed his babyhood and greeted his boyhood and now look ahead to the delightful and difficult phases to come.

And now we say hello to Two.

This phase of life, for us as parents, is relentless. I forget important things every day. More food goes bad in the fridge. Bills pile up. Friends’ texts go unanswered, sometimes for weeks. At the end of each day, hours after the sun has gone down, if we’re lucky, my husband and I get a few moments to speak with each other and loosen our shoulders. If we’re unlucky, well, even that is impossible.

But when Two coos at me or One bursts into that uproarious toddler laugh, the lonely nighttime tears feel less dark. When Two smiles wide with milk dribbling down his chin or One tells me a story about his toy cars’ adventures, I resolve to choose to remember those things in the hard times.

One is starting to ask me about things like death and his relationship with God as he discovers his independent self. Two is still blissfully unaware that he’s a separate person. 

And sometimes, when a few minutes of solitude sneak up on me while both of them are tucked into bed, I wonder how I will ever find my own self again apart from these little lives. Can I even have a thought that isn’t connected to them in some way?

I can, I do, and I will. I know it. But right now, sometimes it’s hard to see it. So much joy comes from walking with my boys as they grow and change and learn. So much angst comes from seeing the hurdles they face. How can I possibly equip them to jump when I’m barely managing myself?

Fortunately, I’m not alone.

Brotherhood, I’m coming to realize, is more than community. It’s responsibility. It’s discovery. It’s staring life down and challenging it to a dance off. It’s seeking opportunity to be a help to others when you’re still puzzling through how to help yourself. 

What a privilege. What an adventure.