I’m not comparing the girls at all. They are so different! They have entirely different personalities that are somehow perfectly symbiotic and it’s no use comparing one to the other because together and individually they are a combination of everything good that’s ever existed in the world. I’m really not comparing them, but I can’t help but think back to when Molly was 20 months old, because in her 20th month she got a new house and a new sister in quick succession, which was, shall we say, a series of tough transitions for all of us.
Lucy’s 20th month involved a beach vacation with her extended family, including a series of first-and-second cousins, ranging in age from 10 months to almost 7. Not that I’m comparing, but I think it’s safe to say that Lucy’s 20th month was a little easier on us all than Molly’s 20th month. I mean the hardest bits on her were the family photo shoot that my mom arranged so that we could capture my grandmother with her seven great-grandchildren (some were more engaged than others, ahem, Lucy and Elliott), and maybe the bit where I wouldn’t let her run head first into the ocean and she got really indignant and actually threw her first full-on screaming tantrum. Whatever, girl – the answer is still no, you may not drown yourself in the ocean on my watch.
I’m not comparing, but I remember the second half of Molly’s second year as being really tough. She had so much transition in such a short amount of time and I felt so unavailable to her between moving into a new house, being massively pregnant and then a completely overwhelmed mom of two. The second half of Lucy’s second year is tough for different reasons, as I continue to struggle to define and refine and adjust my self-definitions and self-expectations of mom, wife, 30-something-year-old woman. The thing about kids, though, is that they thrive almost regardless of the churn around them. Lucy at 20 months is the most delightful human I have ever encountered. She has a way about her that can bring me out of my deepest navel-gazing funk with one batted eyelash or one belly giggle; one moment of watching her feed Hop a snack or snuggle next to Molly on the couch; one time hearing her say “thank you” or “bye bye octopus” or “oh, hi Tyson” or “nite nite Molly” or “Mom. Mom! Mom. Ma. Mom. Mom!” I love her more deeply and harder than I ever knew would be possible and she regularly makes my breath catch in my throat just by running by me with her hand in Molly’s or putting herself to bed or contentedly reading to herself out loud as she narrates what she sees on the pages. Both of my girls make my whole world spin, individually and together, and there is no comparison to the feeling of wholeness I get watching the two of them grow up together.
Snaps from vacation and more below: