Thursday, May 30, 2013

Parenting: Round Two

I once read an argument that siblings are different largely because they are parented by "different" parents--that the passage of time, experience, and circumstance cause us to evolve to the extent that the mother I am to Lydia is not the mother I am to Holden. When I read this, I thought it was a silly argument. While yes, we change with time, I couldn't fathom that I the way I would mother my second child would be so in contrast to the way I parent Lydia.

Enter Holden.

Holden is experiencing a very different childhood. He is growing up in a different city, surrounded by an extended family, and with two full-time work-outside-the-home parents. Lydia's infancy was spent surrounded primarily by friends-that-were-like-family, far away from the Midwest, and with a dad that cared for her two days a week.

Lydia's first years were documented in great, great detail. I blogged multiple times per week--often more than once daily. Thousands of pictures were taken. Her wellness checks were spot-on in regards to her monthly birthdays.

On one hand, I feel badly that Holden doesn't have the same copious record. I'm trying, but I just can't come close to recreating it. I am trying to be better about pictures, but most of the time, my hands are so full between the two kids and their stuff that I can't also manage the camera or I'm too preoccupied to think of it. Robin is not well-versed in the SLR model nor does it occur to him to take pictures.

On the other, though, we are so much more relaxed and confident in our parenting this time around. Parenting Holden has made me realize just how much we have "learned" on Lydia, not in the sense that we have become brilliant parents with one try but in that we knew absolutely nothing when Lydia was born and through numerous mistakes and rough gos, we have garnered some experience. Holden may not have near the number of photographs as Lydia but he has a substantially more mellow, patient set of parents. Let's hope he continues to be such a easy-going fellow and forgives us for the lack of keepsakes and photos, the (still) unfinished nursery, and the absence of rigid "developmental practice." In the same vein, let's hope our learn-as-we-go process with Lydia won't scar her for life.