Friday, April 15, 2016

To My Third Child

You’re not my first; that much is true.
I loved others before loving you.
I’m a different mother this time around,
more calm and confident I’ve found.

With your sister, everything was new.
I was focused on her every move.
Each tiny smile was photographed.
I changed my ringtone to her laugh.

When you come, there will be a new dimension.
Three children will want my attention.
I will not watch your every move,
or when you cry out, jump to soothe.

I won’t panic every time you sneeze
and dash you off to A&E.
Your clothes will be hand-me-downs,
and some of your toys will have lost their sounds.

I know what the next year has in store;
each phase you’ll reach I’ve seen before.
This doesn’t mean I love you less.
This time the feeling’s more complex.

I’ll be pleased to see you learn and grow,
but it will pull my heartstrings so.
I was so excited first time around;
this time I'll want to slow things down.

All your firsts will be lasts for me:
last crawl and last to ride my knee.
Last diaper, breastfeed, spoon of mush,
last rock to sleep, last cry to hush.

You’re not my first; that much is true.
But the last child I will have is you.
You’re the last lullaby I’ll sing.
And lasts are a special kind of thing.