taking it slow

zion and mama


Dan comes down the stairs this morning and into the kitchen where I am serving Harvey breakfast.

"Zion is still up there sleeping like a baby," he says, "I mean, a baby who's not Harvey."

Most things people tell you about childrearing are annoying. "Get all the sleep you can NOW" for example, or my personal pet peeve, "That baby looks cold!" But one thing they tell you actually turns out to be true: it is easier the second time around. Feed, burp, change, repeat. It may be tedious, but after you've been covered in real food toddler vomit, or learned how to sit through the big lungs crying that accompanies a 2-year-old tantrum, newborn antics lose all power to break your spirit.

Grandma has taken Harvey to Drumlin Farms for the morning, so I have the opportunity to lie around and rest with sweet baby Zion. I can't believe I found this so hard the first time around... maybe I just had higher standards for how clean I expected my house and clothes to be. I took the photo above from our nappy time yesterday. I remember cuddling like this with baby Harvey, how awesome and lovey it was, and yet how little I really knew him back then. (Turns out he kind of hated cuddling on his stomach.) Maybe that's why a new baby is so hard - it's sort of like an arranged marriage. You're suddenly supposed to love this total stranger right away, and you sort of do but you sort of don't at the same time.

I remember falling in love with Harvey the instant he was born. Zion's birth was a bit more traumatic, so I'll sheepishly admit that I'm still working to catch up in the bonding department. Part of me wishes I could just fast forward a few months to where everything feels all solid and secure again, where I feel like we're really a family of four with most of the kinks worked out, and not a family of 3 with a very tiny guest in our house. Right now I sort of feel like a top that's a little bit off balance. Harvey used to be the center of my life, and now the center is somewhere in the middle of many people in a fuzzy moving relational space.

Still, I keep telling myself it's okay to take things slow too, to allow space for cuddles and naps and piles of clean laundry to go unfolded. That baby head sure is a soft good-smelling thing.