Sunday, February 10, 2013

No one said it would be easy...

Wynray has been in our arms for 24 days, and home 17 days.  These last 17 days have been beautiful, exhausting, humbling, frustrating, hilarious, and well, hard.

After two years of blogging about this process, I'd love to be able to report that the birds sing arias every morning especially for our family as we hold hands and all skip to breakfast, that Kysa is devoted to her brother by sharing unselfishly of her toys and her parents, and that Fredrik and I are energized by the lack of sleep and are now communicating telepathically.

But the reality is that we are in survival mode. Instead of arias, Wynray generally wakes us with lion roars, but at least the lion roars are now on US time and not African time. Kysa has staked her claim on everything in our home from dust bunnies to my leg with the famous call of the almost 3 yr old: "MINE!!" Fredrik and I are walking zombies who grunt and point. And if we can string more than three words together it's like trying to have a conversation at a rock concert. "HUH??" WHAT?? Tell me later...I can't understand a word you're saying."

Shamefully, I've had to call Fredrik to come home from work because Kysa NEEDS a parent and I can't put down the baby. I'm not sure my heart has ever hurt so badly to hear my daughter screaming PUT DOWN THE BABY AND HOLD MEEEE!!!  It kills me to see how she feels betrayed, shut out, set aside. Telling her, "there is always room for you in my lap," doesn't really work unless there actually is room for her on my lap.

But then there are moments that show up out of nowhere, like being able to put off the walk I had planned because Kysa has spontaneously decided to perform her Lonely Goatherd dance from the Sound of Music for Wynray and they are both cracking each other up. Or the calm after the emotional storms when Kysa and Wynray (and I) are spent from crying can snuggle together and our bodies can relax into a heap of familial limbs, and we all just surrender to being together for a minute or two.

Both my kids have experienced so much transition and change in the last few months. I think about what it's like for a big sister to have a newborn baby come home, and the period of time they usually get to adjust with their little sibling in the blob stage. Wynray came home full, wild, active and taking up lots of physical and emotional space. Kysa is doing great, though her coping mechanisms are a little less than charming, and Wynray continues to be the happiest baby on the planet, though he is now surviving us.

Wynray has most certainly decided he wants to be a part of this family and he's not letting any of us out of his sight for long. And while my heart aches for my sweet girl, it also aches for the losses Wynray has suffered in his short life. I feel it in the middle of the night when he wakes in a panic and desperately clutches my neck, and then slams his head against my chest. He is still the happiest baby on the planet, but he's beginning to let me see some of his fears, and I'm eager to hold them so he can get on with the business of just being a baby.

We're all adjusting and stepping into our roles as parents, siblings, sons and daughters a little more fully each day. It's not easy that's for sure, and most of the time I'm pretty sure I'm screwing up big time. But nothing easy is worth doing, right?


  1. I have now learned (too late) that having kids so close in age is really, really tough. The age difference is too small for my oldest to be able to differentiate enough and to understand their differing needs. I have since read that really happens when they are four years apart or more. Missed that boat, I am afraid! So, while mine are great playmates, the constant struggle you describe is the norm. Wish I could say it gets better! It just gets different. You are the one who will change the most. I hope it is not such a painful process for you! Miss you guys!

  2. It's funny Evelyn, my sister and I are 4 years apart and Fredrik and his sister are 10 years apart. We both talked about envying siblings very close in age and planned (as much as humanly possible) our family accordingly. It's tough stuff, with every day getting a little better. I do believe that having Wynray as a little brother will toughen up my soft and sensitive Kysa, and I think Kysa will bring some gentleness (or at least awareness of being gentle) to my BAM BAM baby boy. I know we're all got lessons to teach each other...and right now my big ole fat lesson is to find my patience reserve with Kysa. She is pushing ALL my buttons, even buttons I didn't realize were there. Miss you guys too!!