November 24, 2009

Dear Ben, months 1 & 2

Dear Bennett,

One of my deepest regrets is not taking many pictures during the first few hours that you and I had together.

When your brother was born, the nurse reminded us to use the camera. But this time she didn't, and we were so overwhelmed by everything that was going on that it just didn't occur to us.

Of course, I don't need pictures for me to remember. Our first moments together are etched into my memory. I will never forget seeing you and hearing you for the first time. I'll always remember the nurse putting your slimy, gross, beautiful little body in my arms. If I close my eyes, I can go right back to that instant . . . my heart overflowed with emotion. It still does.

I wish I had the pictures to show you. I wanted you to be able to look at a picture and try to imagine how much love I felt for you during that first time we had together. It was in those few moments that I realized that I could, in fact, love another child as much as I love your brother. In those first hours, I started praying in ways that only your mother can . . . that God would protect you, that He would give me what I need to be your mom, and that you would grow to know him and to love Him more and more every single day.

I don't know. . . pictures probably wouldn't have been able to do the moment justice, so maybe we're better off without them. But I want you to know that you were deeply loved from the moment you entered this world . . . and even before.

You are now two months old. You might be thinking that I missed your first month's letter, but you're wrong. With Jack, I started letters at his two month birthday, too. So, in what will likely be the first of many attempts to keep things "fair and equal" between the two of you, I put off your first letter until now. And this way, when Jack's someday complaining that you got the brand new car that he never had, I can say, "Yeah, but I wrote you the SAME NUMBER OF LETTERS!"

You're in a unique position in our family . . . you're the only one who ISN'T an oldest child. You're the youngest and none of us can really relate. We'll try not to hold that against you. I have a feeling you'll teach us quite a bit. I can already see the differences in your tolerance level for chaos and the ease with which we can put you down to take care of Jack.

You have your fussy moments but you're really proving to be a happy, content little boy, as long as your needs have been met. Your smile still melts my heart and holding you helps me to relax.
I think the best part about being a parent the second time around is that I'm not as scared of messing you up. Don't get me wrong . . . I'm still worried that you have every condition and illness that I read about online. But I'm less tense and more laid back . . . well, for me at least. I think you'll benefit from the little bit of experience I have. I guess that's one nice thing about being the youngest.

You are so special, so unique. You remind us a lot of your brother, and I think you favor the Wietholter side of our family more than he does, but whenever we start talking about who you resemble, your Grandpa Wietholter always says, "He just looks like Ben." And he's right.

You'll figure out soon enough that your parents aren't perfect and that we make mistakes. You'll find that we don't always parent the way we should and that, on some days, it is by the grace of God alone that we live to see bedtime. But I hope you'll also discover that we love you as much as we possibly can and more importantly, that there is a God who planned for you and loves you more than we ever could. You were so meant to be.



Xander said...

I think some moments are better off not photographed, to exist only "etched in our memories." Its not because it was a gross or slimy baby, but because the intimacy and beauty of the moment could never be captured in a picture, and will only ever be shared by those who were present. Anyway - that's just my take on those rare and wonderful moments...

Mockabee Seven said...

What a beautiful family you have! Your boys are pretty much the same distance as's so fun! It gets better and better! Jodi