With my daughter, time stood painstakingly still, the memories as freeze frames in my head. Stacks of pictures piled up on my computer, notes about her every word scribbled in a baby book, and moments that are only hers and mine shared together.
She is the one who made me a mother.
We spent long days and way too many nights staring at each other, fixated on each other's every move, expression, and emotion. I could point out every new freckle and every old bruise. And her looks spoke to me in complete sentences.
I could read her cries like a book. Not surprisingly, she could read mine.
With my second born, I lost track of his freckles long ago. There's no baby book to speak of, no special box piled high with birthday cards, and only a few pictures of him alone.
Our moments alone together are spent before his bedtime, where I force myself to listen and focus. I try to stop and stare, to soak in his everything before it's lost in the shuffle of another being. It doesn't mean I love him any less, or that I don't know who he is - his sweet devious smile, bright rosy cheeks, and deeply loving soul.
Even though it's all he knows - everything shared, from the toys in the playroom to his mother's tired arms, there's still a part of me that wishes I had more to give. Just him. The boy. Our only son.
But unlike those long days alone with my daughter, my eyes are extra tired, my patience is stretched thin, and on some days, I just can't keep up.
And I can't help but feel he's owed a better lens.