Mom's with two kids, tell me: Do you feel this kind of guilt, too?
When and if my daughters ever look back on my writing, or when they want to know more about what they were like when they were babies, Anna will have a giant plethora of material to consult.
She can read about how I felt almost every day that I was pregnant with her. She can read all about her birth (she may not want to... but she could if she so chooses). She can read all about her first year - a time that she won't remember whatsoever and will rely on my memories to fill her in.
And if that doesn't satisfy her, she can check out the Baby's First Year calendar I diligently filled in for her every month.
Lauren? Not so much.
I've got a few notes on my iPhone about her. I've got lots of pictures. I've attempted to blog a little here and there. But that's about it.
I'm a second child as well. And I remember asking my Mom about my baby book (after seeing my brother's book with his cute little hospital bracelet) and wanting to see more.
I think there was a lock of my hair tucked away somewhere. But that's about where it ended.
(My mother, bless her heart, had me when my brother was just 15 months old. And didn't have much family around. And had a husband who travelled for business every so often. I'm not quite sure how she did it. So I absolutely don't blame her - now that I know what it's really like).
But Lauren won't know until she decides to have children one day either (if she chooses to).
And part of my heart breaks inside whenever I think of her not knowing how I feel. How much I love her. How amazing I think each day is with her as a baby - just as I did with her big sister.
So. My sweet, sweet, Lauren... I'm telling you now.
I love you so much. My god, how I love you. You are so sweet. And loving. You are so happy. And beautiful.
Each day, I come to get you in your crib and you smile the biggest smile. A smile that's only reserved for me (you smile at everyone - but you save the biggest ones for me, I've noticed. Well, for me and for Anna. You smile pretty darn big for her, too.)
You are so good natured. When we take you out places, you never melt down or fuss. But you're just as happy hanging out in your bouncy chair watching your wild and crazy sister run around as you are going out and about and seeing and doing new things.
You love me. I feel it every day. I feel it when I pick you up and you snuggle into my neck. Or when you put your hand on my face and suck on my cheek. I feel it when you get tired and want me to nuzzle my nose on your forehead. You want me to snuggle in close to you. It calms you down instantly. And it only works when I do it.
I love everything about you. Your soft little hair. Your incredibly chubby thighs. Your cute little bum. (Your Dad and I took several pictures of your naked bum, we thought it was so cute. But don't worry, we won't bring them out to show your first boyfriend).
I love that you look like your big sister. I love that you have your Daddy's blue eyes. I love that you have pale skin like the rest of us.
But I love the things that make you unique, too. The way you flap your arms and kick your legs like you can't wait to get moving. Your hair. Your temperament. They may be similar to someone else in the family, but they're all your own.
So, my incredible little girl, if you ever wonder, I want you to know. I may not have the same amount of time as I had for your sister, but I have the same amount of love and adoration. My heart grew when you were born.
And if I don't write it down enough, I want you to feel it. Every day. With my touch. With my smile. Through my hugs.
I love you. I love you so much.