Thursday, July 21, 2011
The Second Child
Have you ever heard people talk about how the second child gets less special treatment than the first? I really thought that it wouldn't be a problem for me, because darn it, I wouldn't let it happen. Well, I had my first experience with it this week, and it made me feel just awful.
When Baxter was about to turn one, I was almost in denial. I could hardly believe it, but for Atticus, that shock wasn't there. It was still pretty weird, him turning one, but the disbelief wasn't present. And then there was Wednesday, when we celebrated his birthday with our families. Now granted, I had to bring a bunch of food and load the kiddos and everything else up by myself, but I still should have been on top of it. On top of what? Oh, I forgot any sort of decoration (which I had for Baxter's birthday), and I even forgot our camera. How could I forget that?! Thankfully, my photographer father-in-law brought his and I will be getting copies of the photos he took. But can you imagine if he hadn't brought his camera? There wouldn't be a single photograph to capture Atticus' first birthday. Man, even writing this makes me feel like such a lousy parent.
I want all of our children to feel special whether it's the first time something has happened or the fifth. Every child should feel just as valued as the first, no matter what. And it's our job as parents to make the effort needed to make each and every one of our children feel that way. I know that as time goes on, things will take place that don't elicit as much excitement for us, but our kids shouldn't be able to tell. The first day of kindergarten should be a huge deal, or the first t-ball game or the first sleepover, etc, etc.
So I can't let this incident get me down. I just have to make even more of an effort in the future to give the same treatment to both boys as they experience new things and move into new stages. I think this is why you also hear people talk about avoiding anything huge for your first, because you're going to have to do it for every kid that follows.