I’m a poet at heart. But I haven’t written real poetry in two years. Here is a first attempt to get back into things. A prose poem. Prose poetry is weird. It’s basically prose with a poetic feel. In other words, it’s whatever you want it to be.
My baby girl is almost two. And she’s not even my baby. I mean, she is my baby, I gave birth to her, but she already has a younger sister, such a young age too. My oldest is almost two and my baby will be one soon after. Having two so close together might seem like a disaster, and I admit, I’ve often felt like I’ve been struck over the head by some disaster, that had I known about the sleepless nights, the constant waking of one, then two, then one, then two (not to be outdone by her younger sister), how lack of sleep would drive me mad, change everything I’ve ever had and known to be true – who’s that person looking back at me in the mirror, and how did her face become so fat? Had I known…you know it wouldn’t matter.
My little girl is almost two. And just last year she was one and I was giving birth again, dreading to leave her for the few days I’d be in the hospital, away. We’d never slept under different roofs. One – what an age, what adorable admiration they shed on you, before their will is so developed that they protest and stomp their feet…at one, the threshold of baby and toddler so delicately balanced, a precious liminal age to see. My husband brought her to the hospital to welcome her new sister to the world, she peered into her crib and didn’t understand, though when we came home all together, she had trouble sleeping. But lately she has grown to love her, I mean really love her, to hug her (without intention to crush) and it’s soothed my heart that hurt for her.
My big girl is almost two. And how the years have flown, but the days are slow, so slow. I never set my alarm anymore, no need, either she or her sister wake me up before I’m ready to face the world, before I’ve had the time to recoup my strength for another day. They like to alternate, haven’t yet achieved that sisterly harmony that I pray for. And I do pray for it, if hope is prayer, because my formal prayer has lagged in these tired times. But I hope and pray that they be best of friends, and that the jealousy and competition, inevitable, will not overwhelm, strike them over their heads, that as parents we will somehow master the art of mitigating the hurt that another can cause. Of course siblings can be best of friends but the older one, my baby, who knows if she will harbor feelings of betrayal, and if the younger one, so cute and cuddly, will feel second-best in life. These are worst-case scenarios, but a mother always fears…
But on my daughter’s second birthday, I’ll put the fears on pause – abra cadabra, disappear! I’ll celebrate them both, I’ll celebrate myself, my husband, our triumph of keeping these babies alive, and happy, clothed and fed, and even though the age of two is heralded with the prefix Terrible, I’ll remember that all my hopes and prayers have gone into her, that ALL of me has gone into her, and even though she’s my firstborn, she will always be my baby first.