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After being on maternity leave for almost 6 months, it was time to go back to work. Little Man was still not sleeping through the night, but he wasn’t colicky anymore. He was a happy Little Man now. She was so thankful. As he grew, She thought he was so wise; he reminded Her of a wise old man somehow. Like he’d been here before and knew how the world worked. Maybe that was the reason for the colic—he was born and thought “Shit! I’m back here again?!” Who knows.
As Little Man started to do more things, way more things than his big sister, She would marvel at how easy it was for him. He just crawled one day. He walked at 10 months without any help or hours and hours of practice and leg braces. He was babbling and signing like crazy, without speech therapy. He was able to use a fork and spoon and color with crayons without hours of occupational therapy. It was crazy to Her. So this was what it was like for everyone else, She thought.
These revelations made it a bittersweet time for Her. She was so proud and so excited to see Little Man do all of these new things, and do them so easily. She marveled at it all. But it made Her sad for Baby Girl. To see how easy it was for Little Man just made Her realize how hard it was for Baby Girl. And how much work they still had to do. She wondered too if Baby Girl would ever do these things too. She was sitting up by then but not walking, not talking, not crawling, not using a fork and spoon or coloring. Would Baby Girl ever catch up to Little Man? How much work was it going to take? Could They do it?
The best thing about being the mother of these two little souls born so close together was watching them be best buddies. Little Man was already looking out for Baby Girl; making sure She was included in his play, making sure to give her lots of kisses, making her laugh. It warmed Her heart to know that this Little Man was already showing signs of the brother he would have to be; the one who would have to take care of his little, big sister.
Bittersweet was the word that just sat on Her tongue during these months of watching them grow. Sweet to watch Little Man develop and grow, but bitter because life was just not that easy for Baby Girl.
She would just focus on the sweet. That would be the best She could do for now.