Three Feet Off The Ground

posted in: Guest Post, Second Child 78 comments

When someone’s words can make you laugh deep from within the belly, cry tears you didn’t think you had, and thrill you when those words are directed at you – you know you’ve found a writer who speaks to you.

Julie C. Gardner of By Any Other Name is one such writer. I go to her blog, never leaving disappointed, only wanting more. I go back and read her reply to my comment (and she never fails to reply), and go away, wishing Julie would just move next door to me so we could sit down and talk. 

Julie aptly wraps up my week of guest posts about dealing with the arrival of a second child. After all, she inspired it. Please sit back and soak up her words. 

Thank you, Julie. For everything. xo

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From across a messy table set for brunch, my husband and I watched our seventeen-month-old son pump his legs in a wooden highchair and suck on triangles of toast. He clattered a spoon against the cup of milk we’d brought “in case.”

As parents of a baby, Bill and I did not venture often into the land of cloth napkins and breakable dishes. I do not remember what we’d set out to celebrate that day. But over a three-egg omelet and seeded bagel I counted backward through the month. And then I knew.

Jack’s baby sister arrived three weeks after his second birthday.

I’m not generally a worrier but I’ll admit creating two kids within the span of two years unspooled anxious threads in my brain and – more immediately – my heart.

Here is what had me unraveled:

Overnight, Jack became my big boy. No longer the sole occupier of our undivided attention, he had to share my lap, our toys, his space. We told him gentle and be careful; he splashed less in the tub. Jack surrendered his crib and his high chair; observed from a booster seat as I fed the new baby. Instead of nursing in my arms, he put pieces of grilled cheese sandwich into his mouth to chew.

Did he think he was no longer a priority? Would he believe she was an interloper come between us? I feared the halving of attention wasn’t fair.

And she. My Karly, birdlike and fragile, withstood wet kisses – too rough on her forehead – from a brother who wondered openly when she’d go “away.” If she dared to cry when he did, I calmed him first to pass his test. I relied on Karly’s patience, her willingness to let her brother choose the books, songs, snacks. He spoke for them both and to please him – to please us – she acquiesced.

Did she learn her needs were secondary? That she would never have the all-of-me he’d had? I feared the dearth of one-on-one time wasn’t fair.

And yet.

When she found her words, the first one she spoke was Jack.

When he awakened each morning, he asked for Karly.

These were the threads that stitched me up:

Our daughter, at her birth, was held by parents who were not panicked by the newly born; who’d already traded in just the two of us for our family. We’d survived the upheaval of a first child; had stretched and accommodated, baby-proofed and settled. Instead of being greeted by ticking clocks and insecurity, Karly came home to relaxed chaos; to walls smudged with crayon and peanut butter.

And he. My son. His world became a whirlwind where noise and laughter increased exponentially; a place augmented by a constant playmate, a willing partner in crime. The house began to echo with the calls of another who understood his life’s station far better than we ever could. His sister alone shared the same childhood experiences and perspective; Jack’s view, like magic, from three feet off the ground.

I see now they were each other’s first friends, teaching lessons (about hate and love, about take and give) they’ll carry with them for a lifetime. Yes, there’s been mother-guilt; and also tears, frustration, uncertainty. I’ve been often overwhelmed because parenting – if you care to do it well – is very hard.

And yet.

From across a busy restaurant set for dinner, my husband and I watch Jack and Karly sitting at their own table with friends. Separate from us, they howl with laughter and trade cell phones, sharing texts and status updates and fresh pictures.

As parents of teenagers, we do not venture often into the land of cloth napkins and breakable dishes. So tonight we make a toast: To having the time, health and foresight to embrace such independence; to charting our children’s growth and celebrating their joys. And over minestrone soup and crunchy bread I count backward through their memories. And I know.

They wouldn’t want it any other way.

Alison
Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).
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  • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

    I am honored to be a part of this series, Alison.
    And to be your friend.

    I wish you so much love as you move toward this next phase of life and more joy than you can possibly imagine.

    Thanks for letting me be here. Even if we can’t be neighbors…
    julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Carolina Valdez Miller

    Beautiful, beautiful. Captured all of my own emotions with my second child–even though they are nine years apart. There always seems to be so much guilt–as if we couldn’t possibly be enough for more than one child, not really stopping to realize that we are giving them ourselves plus a sibling to love them, too. It wasn’t until after my second daughter was born that I wished I had an older sibling for my oldest child, too, so that she could feel what it’s like to be so treasured by a big sister as her little sister was.

    P.S. Won’t you be my neighbor? I’ll let you use my cloth napkins, which only see the light of day during the holidays (only to be covered up by paper napkins that we actually use).
    Carolina Valdez Miller recently wrote…Hope, Love, and LightMy Profile

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      Lady, I’d be your neighbor only if you promised to NEVER use the cloth napkins.

      I’m happy to wipe my mouth on my sleeve. (Don’t tell anyone. It’s my way of being green!)

      As for siblings who are treasured, I can only imagine the amount of love in your house. Your children are lucky, indeed.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 adrienne

    Awww. Beautiful post! I love that Jack was her first word.
    adrienne recently wrote…How to get the most from your post!My Profile

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      After I got over being slightly jealous that her first word wasn’t mama, I realized how lovely it was that she said Jack first.

      And how happy I was that she could get a word in edgewise.

      (We’re a family of talkers. Yes we are.)
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 MommaKiss

    Oh the fears I had when I was pregnant with my second, the first being just over 2 when his lil brother entered the world. Fears for me, though. Not them. I knew they’d have each other. I’d just have them both to worry over and shower love upon.
    Damn.

    And your kids remind me of my brother and I. Growing up so close. Sharing do much. Siblings. There’s no greater gift.
    MommaKiss recently wrote…Things I learned in Louisiana.My Profile

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      You’ll appreciate the fact that Jack and Karly shared a room for years…even though they didn’t have to.

      They just liked using Jack’s bunk and it kept them happy and out of our bed.

      So.

      They are a gift to each other. And I hope they stay friends forever.

      I know you know there are no guarantees in life. So we’re giving it all we’ve got here in Gardnerland to make our time together count, you know?
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Galit Breen

    Oh my heart, Julie. This? Is stunning.

    When I was in the throes of “what have we done?!” a girlfriend told me, “you just gave them their best friend” – I’ve always held onto that.

    And your words? I’ll go ahead and hold onto them, as well.

    {Beautifully done!}
    Galit Breen recently wrote…Loosen, But Don’t Let GoMy Profile

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      Isn’t that the truth: A sibling is the best gift they never knew they wanted.

      Full disclosure: My sister and I fought like CRAZY when we were younger. I don’t think we fully appreciated the friendship we had until I moved away to college.

      But there was always love. Always.

      And your three? Oh Galit.
      Your family is one big heart.
      Two generations of it.

      Love.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Natalie

    So lovely. And I think what we are all hoping for. As I live in the land of
    gentle touches and simultaneous crying, I try to have faith it will all pay off.

    Thank you for sharing this.
    Natalie recently wrote…A Mid-Morning MomentMy Profile

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      Natalie,

      The minutes drag and the years fly, then yes.
      It all pays off.

      Sooner than you can imagine.
      And also better.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Kelly K

    Damn woman.

    I dream of having your gift of weaving words.

    Those pictures are priceless.

    One of my daughter’s earliest words was also her brother’s name. In spite of tackles, being picked on, and other not-so-nice tactics at the hand of her brother, she absolutely adores him.

    The jury is still out on whether my son still wishes his sister would go away.

    And while I never want to repeat a year like 2010 again, I love the age we have reached as my children grow closer.

    And grow so very fast.

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      Kelly,

      So much of the first years are beyond our control; and theirs.

      2012 will be easier because you’ll have another year of experience under your belt. You’ll be one year closer to their small steps of independence.

      And YOU, my friend, have the love. That’s clear in every post you write, every picture you share.

      It’s there.
      And this year it will be easier to see.

      Believe.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Ally

    Beautiful post, Julie. It’s all gone to fast, and I miss my little guy SO much, but I smiled at the thought of watching your teenagers with their friends. It’s so bittersweet, yet it’s a stage I’m strangely enjoying. It fills me with pride to see my son become his own person, so close to being and adult, yet still my baby.
    Ally recently wrote…Free To A Good Home…My Profile

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      Ally,

      Exactly. I was noticing today (walking from the orthodontist’s office) that my son is almost taller than I am. That he’s getting traces of a mustache.

      And I smiled. As hard as it is to imagine, I’ll embrace the day I put my arms around him for a hug and have to look up.

      Oh my. But not yet. Please.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Nancy M. Campbell

    My boys are best friends. They have each other.

    You express it better than I ever could. So much beauty here.

    I see the magic of brotherhood in glances, gestures, a million small moments of connection and love.
    Nancy M. Campbell recently wrote…RememberRED: Run DryMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 jlweinberg/jen

    Julie, I don’t know how you do it, but you leave me with tears in my eyes every time you write about your kids (well, not when you write about them vomiting on vacation, but every other time). You write with grace and love. You are a master writer. Thank you for reminding me of the most tender parenting moments. XO
    jlweinberg/jen recently wrote…Why Visiting A Public Restroom Makes Me TwitchyMy Profile

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      Vomit isn’t tender at your house?
      Yeah. Even I have my limits on what I’ll try to make lovely…

      But thank YOU for being such a supportive friend. Few people have the ability to make me laugh, sigh and think in a single week.

      But your words? (And pictures. Let’s not forget.)
      Are simply spectacular.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Renee Schuls-Jacobson

    Only you, Julie, could make me feel sad that I have only one.

    I was content and certain that our trio was enough.

    But now, I find myself wishing my son had a sibling.

    Someone to sing-song his name.

    I suppose there is always something to fret over.

    Seems to me you and Bill need to do more toasting. 😉

    Allison, I first saw you at Gigi’s, then Galit’s. Then Julie’s. The blogosphere is small. You will havevso much support. And you are going to be great.
    Renee Schuls-Jacobson recently wrote…Saturday Night at the ClubMy Profile

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      Renee,

      I thought of you (and other friends who have one) as I wrote this post.

      It’s a good thing I know you all have such fabulous families. Just as they are.

      Whether we have one child or nineteen (well…) or none (because I have several dear friends with no children but very happy homes) it’s about love.

      Around here, I just share mine with three.
      (And the internet. I really love you people.)
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 christine

    Oh how beautiful and wonderful that your son and daughter have each other. I am excited (and a little nervous) to see how my girls’ relationship develops as they get older. But I’ve always loved having a sister, so hopefully they will too.

    Thanks for sharing!
    christine recently wrote…The Gift of FriendshipMy Profile

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      Christine,

      My sister and I are sixteen months apart and we fought like crazypeople when we were younger.

      Seriously. CRAY-Z.

      But the love was fierce. And it still is.
      Your girls are so very lucky to have a sister.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Charlene Ross

    LOVE this blog. Just fantastic. I’ve always felt that the greatest gift I’ve given my children is each other (they tend to disagree!) but yes – the guilt of the mommy pull also gets me. More now that they are older, but it does still pull. How I wish I could express it as beautifully as you do Julie!

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      Charlene,

      Something else we have in common (besides being of a certain age and also fabulous…):

      We both have an older son, a younger daughter, and a desire to make their lives extraordinary. While staying sane ourselves, of course.

      It’s easier said than done.

      But that’s why there are sweet potato fries in this world.

      I’m pretty sure.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Yuliya

    A gorgeous piece by Julie (as always)
    Yuliya recently wrote…my friend, the criticMy Profile

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      Thanks, Yulia.

      I can’t take gorgeous pictures so I’m stuck with just my words.

      Lucky you, lady.
      You’ve got both.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Cheryl

    Sigh. So lovely. The pictures are priceless.

    I love watching my third follow my second around, doing every single thing she does. She doesn’t like it so much, but I adore it.
    Cheryl recently wrote…No pose for the cameraMy Profile

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      I can imagine it now…and yep. From our point of view, it’s so sweet.

      She’ll understand someday. (Or not.)
      Either way? Your kids are SO adorable and lucky to have each other.

      And you.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Poppy

    I still think of my youngest as my baby, yet my middle was usurped when she was still a toddler. I, too, love when you write about your kids. It makes me all gooey.
    Poppy recently wrote…Bald Men Should Not be in Charge of HaircutsMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Kimberly

    So sweet. I was worried about the same things, as 2 of my boys are only 13 months apart. But, watching them grow not only as brothers, but as friends is completely special.
    Kimberly recently wrote…A Little Something For YouMy Profile

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      I remember reading somewhere that having your children close together can be tougher on the parents but easier on the kids.

      And I’m sure that’s just a sweeping generalization. Because people are individuals not statistics.

      Still. 13 months apart? Those boys must be so close. How wonderful to watch their friendship grow.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Kelley

    Oh, Julie! You have got me on this one! I’ve got real tears over here. This was so very sweet. I loved, loved it. Now I need to go back to the post on your site & examine grown up Karly & Jack a little closer. Such beautiful children you have!!
    Kelley recently wrote…Finding the Funny: The Race For SleepMy Profile

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      Kelley,

      Thanks so much. But I just woke the kids up for school this morning and they’re not looking or feeling too beautiful…

      Stilll. It’s a Friday. And there is hope for us all.

      So thank you for your lovely compliment. Your boys are SO lucky to have each other. And you.

      (And we’re all lucky to have Friday.) XO
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Laura

    Again, I am so thrilled that I popped over and read. Seriously, this post has given me comfort as I struggle to watch my baby turn into a big boy overnight. I pray that I will provide the best life for both him and the new baby, but it is so hard to imagine how that will happen. I love the thought that they will be best friends. Love it.
    Laura recently wrote…I Was Home – Faces of a FamilyMy Profile

    • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

      Laura,

      Isn’t it so true how they become “big” overnight? I’ll never forget the first diaper change after I’d come home from the hospital with Karly.

      Jack looked like he should be in college or something.

      But it all settles in and then they’re still your babies. Now and always.

      Thank goodness.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 Missy

    Julie, darn you, I’m weeping into my coffee! Gorgeous.

    My boys do plenty of the “he kicked me!” and “but I wanted that toy!” stuff, but they also say, “I miss my brother” when one is away or “I wuv ewe, brudder!” at bedtime. I find pure joy in those words.

    Alison, I feel the same way about Julie. Thanks for hosting her here today!
    Missy recently wrote…Fear and FailureMy Profile

  • February 3, 2012 julie gardner

    Missy,

    It’s true that they have their moments, right? (It’s why I included the part about take and give, hate and love). The feelings are so fierce for better or worse.

    Having to share your life with another person (whether by choice or not) is hard and wonderful.

    But underneath it all? They have each other. (At least that’s what I tell myself.)

    XO
    julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me wantedMy Profile

  • February 4, 2012 Ostriches

    I really hope my children are good friends when they grow up. I really really hope so.
    Ostriches recently wrote…NonsenseMy Profile

    • February 4, 2012 julie gardner

      Oh my friend.

      There’s so much love in your house.
      Everyone there is going to grow up feeling a part of something special.

      I promise.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 4, 2012 Jessica

    I love this post, and as I mom of two close in age, I can relate. I think the first two months were the hardest for us all, but with time, we’ve adjusted, we’ve learned, we’ve accommodated. I used to worry during my pregnancy that I wouldn’t have space in my heart for two children, but I do. This experience has been humbling, stretching, and beautiful.
    Jessica recently wrote…52|5: No bon bons for this stay at home momMy Profile

    • February 4, 2012 julie gardner

      Jessica,

      Humbling, stretching, beautiful.

      You said in three words what it took me an entire post to write.

      And each word is true.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 4, 2012 Steph

    This is a beautiful post- it brought tears to my eyes. I have 3 daughters of my own. My two oldest (8 and 5) are best of friends (and worst enemies at times). When we were pregnant with our 3rd (who is now 20mos) I worried that she would not fit in with them. But the three together are the best of friends. The baby’s first word was her oldest sister’s name. The oldest is her protector, her teacher, and her playmate. The middle sister is her playmate. I watch the affection between all of them and the true sisterly love they have and I know we did right by them. Together they are a complete unit.
    Steph recently wrote…The Challenge of Eating OutMy Profile

    • February 4, 2012 julie gardner

      I’m 16 months older than my sister. So for virtually my entire life, she’s been the one who knows me the best – the good, the bad, the ugly.

      She’s seen it all. And I’m so grateful for that bond.

      I love your description of your girls making up “a complete unit” and the fact that you KNOW you did right by them.

      There’s nothing more wonderful.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 4, 2012 Amanda

    This put a lump in my throat. It is a funny thing this motherhood stuff. It can be so thrilling and fulfilling at times (not including the tantrums and urine soaked everything).

    Thank you for the reminder that the choice of having kids (1, 2 or 3 in my case) really changes our children as much as it changes us.

    I personally find that I am much more willing to let go of the little stuff because there isn’t enough time or energy to deal with it anyway!

    Cheers to +2 and beyond 😉

    • February 4, 2012 julie gardner

      Amanda,

      We could all write a year’s worth of posts about tantrums and urine – right?

      So thank goodness that underneath it all, the fulfillment makes it all worthwhile.

      It’s thrilling indeed. And so challenging. And sometimes almost too much to bear.

      But also in a good way, you know?
      Yes. I think you do.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 4, 2012 Jill

    Julie – You put that so beautifully! I had many of the same feelings and you describe them perfecty. How adorable are you? You look like you were 12 years old when you had Karly!!!

    • February 4, 2012 julie gardner

      Ha! I was 30, but probably FELT like I was twelve in terms of being ready to be a parent again…

      But thanks for the support, Jill.
      I always LOVE to see your name below my posts.

      Really.
      XO
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 4, 2012 Bridget

    Having twins, I can’t really relate to that feeling, the one of bringing a new baby into the family and hoping the first baby doesn’t feel left out. They’ve just always had each other. Their first friend, since before they were born.

    I like that.
    Bridget recently wrote…This Is Why Our Schools Are FailingMy Profile

    • February 4, 2012 julie gardner

      Bridget,

      Yes. Their first friend since BEFORE they were born.

      You’re pretty much magic.

      Twice.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 4, 2012 Kristin

    This is really beautiful, Julie. If I were to have another baby, which I’m not (which is a whole post unto itself), this is the post I would want to read and re-read to calm my nerves and fears and anxiety about it. Because they would be – HAVE been – all the same ones you had. And you so perfectly articulated them, as you always do, and in your own special way, concluded, “All shall be well (and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well).”
    Kristin recently wrote…Friday Tapas: The Personal Growth EditionMy Profile

    • February 4, 2012 julie gardner

      Kristin,

      And it’s true, right? All is (eventually) well.

      Or in the case of you and your family, better than well.

      Much better.
      And exactly what you need.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 4, 2012 Kir

    Oh Julie…it was poetic and beautiful, a look at our future with smiles and sighs, with humor and watery eyes. Wow!

    With twins I”ve always shared my lap…but I still the boys yield to one another and help one another, to ask for each other and to make sure “that my brother” gets one too…I see siblings in these words and in my world.

    Thank you for sharing these snapshots of your life..then and now ..with us . Xooxo
    Kir recently wrote…WOE: Moving DayMy Profile

    • February 4, 2012 julie gardner

      Kir,

      Were there two babies ever more wanted in the world than yours?

      I think probably not.

      They’re so lucky to have you. And each other.
      And vice versa.

      (That works for twins, right?)

      XO
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 4, 2012 Stasha

    How lovely, to have children so close in age they will always be best friend.
    Beautifully written, I can see why Alison loves visiting you Julie!
    Stasha recently wrote…Blogging troublesMy Profile

    • February 4, 2012 julie gardner

      Thanks, Stasha.

      I do hope they will always be close. And to that end, we’ve done all we can do.

      The rest will be up to them…
      Fingers crossed.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 4, 2012 Janie Fox

    loved this Julie! this made me cry. mine are all grown and call each other best friends. that is pretty awesome cool!

    • February 4, 2012 julie gardner

      Janie,

      If there’s one family I can count on to demonstrate generations of tight bonds and love it’s yours.

      What I know for sure?

      You have each other’s backs.
      Yes you do.

      XO
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 4, 2012 Mommy Shorts

    This is just gorgeous. And renews my decision to try for a second. I worry about how we’ll do it, how Mazzy will adjust to our divided attention, how much less attention a new baby would receive- but I have to believe it’s worth it. After all, my sister is my best friend in the world.

    Beautiful post, Julie.

    Alison- when is the baby due exactly? Every morning I wake up and when your comment isn’t first, I think— did she give birth last night???
    Mommy Shorts recently wrote…The Shockingly Secret Life of ElmoMy Profile

    • February 4, 2012 julie gardner

      Ilana,

      I know what you mean when you say you worry about how you’ll do it.

      But here’s the thing:
      You just do.

      (But you already knew that.)
      I can’t imagine a better family for another baby.

      Or a better big sister than Mazzy.
      Oh my.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 5, 2012 Missy

    UGH! Julie! I’m totally bawling right now and wasn’t prepared for that. Great, heartfelt, inspiring post for Alison and her soon-to-be family of four.
    Missy recently wrote…The Literal Mom Must Have Resource List.My Profile

    • February 6, 2012 julie gardner

      I am so very excited for (and also just a pinch jealous of) Alison being poised is at THE BEGINNING of this whole Adventure of Four.

      I think when you’re in the moment, just getting through each day, you don’t always realize there will come a time when you’ll be looking BACK on those moments longing for them.

      And I am now. With so much love.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 5, 2012 Jessica

    Oh this is beautiful Julie, I love, love, love watching my kids grow up together and the places they seem to fall into so easily with each other. They are so close right now that I am holding my breath for how long it will last.
    Jessica recently wrote…With HeartMy Profile

    • February 6, 2012 julie gardner

      Jessica,

      It will last a lifetime.

      After reading your words and seeing your pictures, taking in your stories and absorbing all the love there is in your home? I just know.

      It will be a lifetime. I promise.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 5, 2012 Jamie

    All is true and golden there…the second brings such fierce emotion and guilt. No more pretending to be parents, it becomes real-life stuff. XO to both of you.
    Jamie recently wrote…weekend wisdom 28My Profile

    • February 6, 2012 julie gardner

      Jamie,

      YES! That’s it exactly. Every bit of it is real.
      And the stakes are high and your patience is stretched and there is less sleep and more worry.

      But also more love.
      And that’s the key, isn’t it?
      XO
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 5, 2012 My Inner Chick

    —Julie,
    Every single time I read your words, I feel my heart strings pull, twist, & tighten.

    Lovely–Beautiful Post.

    Memories. Never. Forgotten. Xx
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…8 Things I Hate About MeMy Profile

    • February 6, 2012 julie gardner

      Thanks, Kim.
      So much.

      Coming from someone whose sibling love knows no end, your compliment means more than I can say.

      Never forgotten, indeed.
      XO.
      julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me well-aimedMy Profile

  • February 6, 2012 Elena

    This is so very beautiful, Julie! As always. The sibling relationship is so very awesome. I love that Karly’s first word was Jack. There’s nothing better than watching our kids together.
    Elena recently wrote…January Photo A DayMy Profile

  • February 6, 2012 Terri Sonoda

    Beautifully written. Loved this post, Julie!
    Terri Sonoda recently wrote…Sara’s Sleep Part 4My Profile

  • February 7, 2012 Amberr Meadows

    That was absolutely beautiful. I wish Julie were my neighbor, too. My real neighbors are rarely seen, and when they are, they avoid any sort of eye contact or social interaction. Bummer.
    Amberr Meadows recently wrote…Radically Random MusicMy Profile

  • February 7, 2012 Tonya

    Julie, this was beautiful.

    I can’t wait to have a second, but I worry and am also excited to see how Lucas will be with a sibling and how my relationship with him will change, grow and deeper.
    Tonya recently wrote…Can’t Live WithoutMy Profile

  • February 8, 2012 Sherri

    I adore Julie…and this post makes me wish she lived closer.

  • February 8, 2012 Lori Dyan

    “The first one she spoke was Jack.” GAH!!! You. Are. Killing. Me. Your words and stories resonate, my friend. You are, among other amazingness, a truly gifted writer. And Alison – break a…epidural?

  • February 9, 2012 Lady Jennie

    I loooooooove this post. It might be my favorite one you’ve written, although that’s hard to say since the competition is fierce. Even your comments are brilliant as Alison hinted at.

    I cried when my son was born and I saw my daughter for the first time at the hospital. She was huge! (20 months at the time). I felt so torn and worried that I wouldn’t be able to love both, equally and effectively.

    A bunch of hog wash we moms eventually figure out.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Disappointment. And Surrender.My Profile

  • February 9, 2012 Marnie

    Thank you for this. I was pregnant just a few months ago and I remember lying in bed holding my 4 year old and being sad for him because he would never be the only child in the house again. I was also worried because my 4 year old is from a previous marrige and I wonder if he will be jealous because the new baby will always be at “Mommy’s house” and he has to leave and go to his daddy’s house once a week. Will my new baby be seen as a usurper? And the new baby has Downs Syndrome. Now I am worried that I will be forcing him to always be is younger brother’s keeper. AND my husband and I are starting to plan to roll the dice on one more child, even with the risk of Downs (my husband is a new first time father – and a spectacular one – and he would like to do it again if I am game). Oh, and I am turning 41 in April. (Ok, it is official, I am insane.) But I needed to read this today. Thank you. Again and again. Now I see the whole thing differently. And I am happy for my children. They will always have each other. Just like me and my “little” brother.
    Marnie recently wrote…The Loss of Confidence (or, I Still Hate Mrs. Colquitt)My Profile

  • February 9, 2012 Tonya

    Julie, this is just BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Although, I must admit, my first response to this post was: “That bitch would look gorgeous after just giving birth to her second kid!”

    How do you do it?
    Tonya recently wrote…Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Unless You’re An Idiot. Then You Can Go Eat At Tom Cruise’s House.My Profile

  • February 9, 2012 Phase Three of Life

    I so needed to read this. Thank you. 🙂

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Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

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