There is something to be said about a second child that maybe no one really talks about… Or maybe they do, and I just never bothered paying any attention. When we had Aria – she was our life, our world, and everything else in-between. There was very little, if anything, that we could imagine being better than having her. Time goes on and before you know it, the decision to have another rascal running around comes up. It’s just something that we knew we wanted – so that Aria could have a sibling to play with, so she would have a friend growing up, to have a bigger and happier family – you know, the things you always read and hear about. It’s true though – it’s everything you read and hear about and more – don’t get me wrong.
When Diana was pregnant, it never really sinks in that you’re going to have another kid and maybe that’s because you’ve been through the motions already. You know what it’s like to be pregnant (or to have a pregnant wife), you know what to generally expect and you know each and every appointment you have to go to and what you’re going to be told. All you want is the kid to come out so that you can be a happy family of 4. The one thing you will never be able to imagine is: how could you love another baby more than you love your first? How do you go from having one world to two? What will it be like? And how do you share all of that love you’ve been showering one with, with another? That’s the question Diana and I asked ourselves plenty of times throughout her pregnancy and it was exciting, and we were nervous and anxious because you really don’t know how much more love you can give when you’ve been giving it 110% this whole time.
I’ll tell you.
The day Rin was born was another addition to one of the best days of my life (you can have more than one). You replay the feeling all over again because after 9 long months, you really are ready to just meet her. You want to hold her and protect her and give her everything that she needs to grow up and have all the things your strength can give her. That’s what that moment is like. You’re tired, but you don’t feel it anymore. You need sleep, but watching her sleep is rejuvenating. To relive that moment is something I would give anything for anytime.
That night, after Diana and Rin were settled – Aria came to the hospital – and we were nervous about how she would react. She knew there was a baby in Mom’s belly this whole time, and she knew she was going to be a big sister… But did she “know” this was a lifelong commitment? I don’t think so. See, the thing about deciding to have another kid is your decision as parents, but very rarely do the “existing” kids have any input. You’re thrusting them into a role they didn’t ask for or know they wanted… And that’s OK. It’s OK because while we’ve spent the last 30 years of our lives learning what love is and what it means – we still don’t always understand it fully no matter how much we think we do. While Aria and Rin – a two-and-a-half year old and a one-day old – can’t even begin to fathom what it means; but now they’re going to be able to show each other and over time, you hope that as parents, you’re able to help foster and nurture the love, the sadness, the anger, the late nights, the fighting, the jealousy, and everything in-between into one big ball of co-existence between them. This is our job now and it’s something you learn to embrace very quickly. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.
You know those questions Diana and I asked ourselves before Rin arrived? The ones we were so nervous and anxious about? The whole time, we were expecting to be able to split our love somehow or to imagine the light of our world being split into two and that is the wrong way to think about it, in retrospect. What we had currently didn’t need to be divided because when Rin arrived, what we had doubled – and this is the best way to describe it. Two worlds is not impossible because we’re living in them now. You don’t think that you can give more than 110% because it feels like you’re in overdrive already, but you can. It feels like Diana and I have been operating at 300% lately and there have been times where it feels like things are overheating and something is about to break but kids are like your cool-down button as much as they are your “push your buttons” button. They are your reason – not for anything in particular – but for everything.
Aria is our first and she will always have a special place in our hearts as our baby, no matter how big she is. Those times when it was just the three of us were special and we’ve cherished them as much as we possibly could. Rin has opened up another chapter in our lives and it’s just as special because we can’t imagine a life without her anymore. She’s one month old now and while they’re both still learning to love and live with each other between the jealousy and the crying, I don’ think we’d have it any other way (even though maybe they would).