What a Difference

Dear Sluiter Boys,

A year ago we were soaking in our last weekend as a family of three.  I was swept up and covered in emotion the whole weekend.  I remembering wishing I could memorize each saying and giggle of Eddie’s.  I wanted to watch him sleep and bury my nose in his hair.  I wanted to somehow record the feeling of Charlie moving his foot or turning to his side so I could re-feel it long after he left my body.  I wanted to grasp tightly to the small moments of Cort being a daddy to Eddie, an almost-daddy to Charlie, and a husband to me.  Those moments were so precious and he busied himself making preparations so we would all feel safe and loved during the impending upheaval of everything we knew to be our normal.

I was inside my own head a lot that weekend.

Charlie, I often wondered if you could feel my nerves and anxieties since you were rolling around in there with them.  Each time you kicked and tried to move around in your ever-shrinking womb nest, I was reminded that you would soon be here taking up so much of all of our attention.

Eddie, I worried about you, my sweet #1 son.  Would you be Ok now that you weren’t the Only?  Would you love your brother as much as it seemed like you already did?

Cortney, you had worked so hard for all of us, and I knew you were going to have to keep working so hard.  Would you resent me or Charlie?  Would you grow frustrated and discouraged?

March 12, 2012...the night before

March 12, 2012…the night before

I was just so excited to have my Charlie out of my ribs tummy, and into my arms, but at the same time I will never forget the fear that everything would go wrong.

I should have taken the unseasonably warm weather as a good sign.  A sign of growth and renewal.

the weekend before...tulips start to shoot up in the unseasonably warm weather

the weekend before…tulips start to shoot up in the unseasonably warm weather

It was hard for me to watch you, Eddie, in those days before.  You knew you were getting a baby brother out of my tummy, but you went on with your days as if nothing was changing.  You were too small to have the fears to worry about what was to come.  It doubled my worries.  That because you didn’t see this HUGE change ahead, you would suffer more.

Three days before your baby brother arrives.

Three days before your baby brother arrives.

Everyone told me it was normal to be worried…and even afraid.  Afraid my heart wasn’t big enough for TWO boys to love.  I already loved you so much, Eddie.  To the moon.  How could I possibly love another little boy like that?  Would I be enough for both of you?


Little did I know that my heart was about to grow about a thousand times bigger.  That not only would I love you, Charlie, just as fiercely as your brother, but that I would love Eddie more and you more because of how you love each other.

playing cars with Charlie about a month before his arrival.

playing cars with Charlie about a month before his arrival.

I don’t remember when your uncle Chris was born, but he and I are the same age spread as you boys.  Watching the two of you now, I like to think that I loved Chris as fiercely as you love Charlie, Eddie.  At least I hope I did.

I can’t believe I was ever worried.

Everyone told me the gift of a sibling is the greatest gift you can give a child.  I didn’t know if I believed them.  Everything seemed perfect the way it was.  I felt daddy and I were selfish for wanting another little human.

Except, once you were here, Charlie?  It was quite apparent that the greatest gift we have given Eddie was you.  If Eddie made us a family, you made Eddie a brother.  That is a huge thing, Charlie Bird.

Playing cars with your brother within a week of his arrival.

Playing cars with your brother within a week of his arrival.

I don’t really know where I am going with this letter, guys.  I’ve just been thinking a lot lately about Charlie’s first birthday coming up.

Charlie, I can’t believe it’s been a year.  Seriously.  This year has flown by in ways I didn’t know were possible.

And Eddie, I can’t believe I ever underestimated your ability to love your brother so much.  You are his protector.  You are his comfort.  You are his laugh-maker.  You are his Eddie…his “dee dee dee”.

I look back at a year ago and can’t hardly believe that the life we had before the Bird was real.  That it happened.  That Daddy and I lived our lives and you both were just…not.  That seems impossible to me.

Tonight I watched the two of you.  I rattled off “Be careful of your brother” and “Don’t hit him with your jammy pants, Eddie!” and “You can’t play Wii until you put on underwear” and “Bird!  No licking the couch!” all without thinking about it.  Like I have been commanding these things of my sons my whole life.

My sons.

I have sons.

Daddy is a Daddy and I am a Mommy and we have sons.

Goodness what a difference a little ole year makes.