To All the Moms
To all the moms out there that wrap their three-year-olds in baby blankets because you know they will be your last child, this is for you.
I get it now. We spend so much effort pushing our firstborns to walk and talk and do algebra before preschool so we can get them into Harvard early admission by age six that by the time the second one comes along, we’re exhausted. I never understood what the big deal was when it comes to your last child, because in true fashion I gave birth to a “gifted,” over-achieving, firstborn child who now, at age six, is completely convinced she has no need for me. When Lucy was nine-months-old she insisted she didn’t need to breastfeed anymore. Just recently, she informed us that she was going to live with her grandparents or maybe go to New York City. Of course, it was with great thrills that we watched her hit every milestone early, which I happily reported to everyone via social media.
When she was two, I decided that next time I’d like to give birth to a child that would “need me.” Lucy had tired of me by age two and decided Daddy was the one who could get things done around here when it came to getting her way. So she decided to concentrate her womanly powers on wooing her daddy to her side and then achieving her goal of world domination (well, at least domination of my house). So, of course, we got pregnant and along came her sister, Ruby Joy, or “the good one” as we jokingly refer to her.
Things were different from the very start. Ruby has a different personality, and I love it. Lucy will look at a slide and think it will help her to fly. Ruby will get up to the top of the slide and spend ten minutes figuring out if this trip down is going to be scary or not. Ruby didn’t like merry-go-round horses, so she chose to sit with mommy. Ruby is cautious and careful. Lucy is carefree and crazy. Did I say that out loud? You get the picture.
I’ve actually relished in having a child who needs me. It’s never been a burden when she reaches for my leg in a crowded store or asks me to help her peel a banana. She’s three now, and time is going by too fast. I went in to check on her sleeping tonight and noticed her whole body is getting longer. I didn’t see this coming—its feels like it just snuck up on me. I wrapped her in a baby blanket and took her over to the rocking chair. (These days, my best cuddles are while she’s sleeping.) I rocked her and told her very softly, “my darling little Ruby Joy, you are not allowed to get any bigger or older because mommy is fearful you will need her less. Do you hear me? I’m not allowing it. You must always be able to fit in my lap right here on this chair.”
At just that moment, my fearless flying six-year-old woke up and saw me singing to her sister. She sleepily climbed up in my arms and said, “rock me, Mama!”
It was then I realized there is still a part of Lucy that will always be my baby. And as long as it’s remotely possible, I will rock her in my arms any night of the week. I’m 40, but I wonder if my mom feels that way about me?
Called Hollywood’s “God Girl,” Kerri Pomarolli is an accomplished actress, comedian, published author, Christian speaker and veteran of television—with credits that include 29 appearances on The Tonight Show and Comedy Central. She is the author of the newly released Moms’ Night Out and other things I miss: Devotions to Help You Survive. For more information, visit KerriPom.com.