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My Dearest Second Born

The moment we found out I was pregnant was the moment I knew my life would be complete. I knew you were the missing piece to our family puzzle. You were the last member of our already amazing team and you would be the best friend your sister was searching for.  A baby boy was what we needed in our home.

I have to admit, I was terrified to have a second child. I was already past the baby stage with your sister and the thought of starting over was scary. I had finally started sleeping and being able to refocus on myself. I couldn’t possibly imagine loving another child the way I loved your sister.  Would I even have love to give you? Also, I was totally clueless about raising a boy! I only had a sister, most of my cousins were girls and I just had so little experience with baby boys. All these fears flooded my mind. What do I do about changing him? What do baby boys even play with? Will I be able to relate to him? How will I be able to raise a son that is brave but kind, a leader with compassion, motivated but tolerant? Perhaps these fears seem so trivial now, but they were very real at the time.

As soon as they put you in my arms, I fell head over heels in love all over again. The way I had with your dad and sister before you. Somehow, my heart just had more than enough love for you and it didn’t mean I had less for your sister.  I knew you would be special to me. I had read about the relationship between mothers and their sons, but I never imagined I would feel the way I did.

As you’ve grown I have really enjoyed watching you explore and journey through life. You are smart and spunky. You are brave and kind. You are funny and loving. You are everything I feared I could not raise you to be. You are you; perfect.

There are a few things I do want to apologize for though. I am sorry we don’t get enough time together. Although we are together a significant part of the day, we do not get enough time to really spend together. Our time gets hijacked by driving your sister back and forth from school and extracurricular activities.  We are together but our time is spent watching her at swimming lessons or tennis. It’s spent getting groceries and running errands. It’s spent in 5 minute increments while I try to make dinner. Our time is spent getting you to help me with chores like laundry and unloading the dishwasher. Unfortunately, our day is so full that this is the only time I have to do these things and if I engage you I can pass it off as time we spent together.  I can’t not mention the guilt I feel when the TV gets turned on more often than not to keep you occupied while I try to get at least something done in the day.

I am sorry, I do not do as many activities with you as I did with your sister.  The days of crafts, finger painting and playdough are few and far between. I know you are way too active to sit for hours like Manessa used to doing learning activities but still I wish I could at least offer you the same as her.  I spent so much time teaching her everything she needed to know before starting school. I keep wondering how I didn’t do the same for you, yet you know so much. I can’t help but be overcome with the shameful feeling that I let you down.

With this crazy life we have you have learnt to be patient.  You have learnt to be self-reliant. You are independent. You are compassionate and always consider your sister in everything you do.  You are very talkative and far beyond your years in speech and understanding. You are curious and inquisitive. You just want to know about everything around you.  You want to know why the sun rises and sets, why the moon comes at night, why the snow falls, why the bunnies hide, why people do the things they do. All the times, I thought I was keeping you from growing your mind, you were proving me wrong. You have successfully made every day a new learning adventure for yourself.  I’m just along for the ride.

My sweet boy, you have brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined. You fill our home with so much love and excitement. When you tell me I’m beautiful, or cuddle me in your arms at night and kiss me, I am reminded over and over again how much a blessing you truly are.

Mona Ismaeial is a modest fashion blogger, writer and community organizer. As Director of External Affairs with Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council – AMPAC, Mona advocates for Muslim women and promotes their civic engagement, builds interfaith bridges, and is passionate about bringing awareness about Islamophobia to light in public forums. A trained teacher and seasoned educator, Mona lectures on a variety of subjects across the province, including Islamophobia, bullying, building acceptance, and multiculturalism. Her favourite thing to do is spend time with her 2 children enjoying all Edmonton has to offer!