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A Letter to My Underdocumented Second Child

Dear Simon,

You are my second child and, like most second children, you kind of got the shaft when it comes to documenting the minutiae of your life. For most younger siblings, that means less pictures, videos and baby book entries. And that is all true for you, buddy. But, unlike most kids, you have a blogger for a dad. So your inconspicuous status is amplified by the internet. It’s a matter of public record. Forever. I’m afraid that when you and your sister are older, you’ll both read my blog and be pissed. She’ll wonder why I shared so much. You’ll ask why I shared so little.

When Penny was born, she made me a dad. Her first breath marked a new beginning for me. It was the biggest, most impactful and amazing change of my life.

Penny made me a dad.

Here I am, in a letter to you, still talking about her. Sorry, dude. She’s part of your story and always will be, but let’s talk more about you.

You made us something more.

When you were born, it wasn’t the hold your breath and brace yourself experience of having our first. It was more like a sigh of relief. It wasn’t a dynamic shift…it was more subtle, but just as important. You didn’t make me a dad; you made us a family. You made us whole. And for that, I thank you with all my heart.

As soon as anyone lays eyes on you, they know you’re mine. No DNA test required. Every picture we take of you (and, even if we maybe didn’t take as many as Penny, there are still approximately 37 million) could be folded seamlessly into an album of my brothers and I. So, for your good looks, YOU’RE WELCOME.

Same shirt. Same face.

You may be my Mini-Me, but boy are you a mama’s boy! And that is exactly what your mama wanted. You cuddle, you hug and, when you’re hurt or sad, you cry for your mommy. Never stop doing that. (Metaphorically, of course. Please stop crying.)

Not to be overly dramatic, but you were your mother’s salvation. Before we had you, we had a miscarriage. It’s not something we talk about often. It’s not a topic anyone discusses much. But I’m a blogger, so I wrote about it. The miscarriage was difficult to get over, especially for your mom. After we were unable to carry to term, your mother felt like a failure. Like it was somehow her fault. It wasn’t, but that message would not filter through her depression.

When we finally did get pregnant with you, we didn’t want to jinx anything. We didn’t tell anyone until it became too obvious to ignore. Allie even delayed going to the doctor to find out if you were really in there. We were just so nervous; we didn’t want any bad news. Maybe couldn’t handle it. Not to gross you out too much, but because of this delay the moment of conception (just don’t think about it) was tougher to pinpoint. We therefore took your due date with a grain of salt and when you were born “early,” but still over 9lbs, we weren’t surprised. It did mean your mom had to suffer through labor, even though she had a C-Section scheduled. Love hurts. And she loves you so damn much. We all do.

See, sometimes Penny is invisible.

By the time you actually read this, you’ll know I’m not one of those everything happens for a reason people. But without that miscarriage we wouldn’t have YOU. We would have had some other weird kid. You’re the weird kid we want. You’re the weird kid we need! So, whatever happened, happened for a reason. And, as you also probably know, I don’t believe in god, but thank friggin’ god for that. Did I mention how much I love you?

You make me smile every day. You have a similar sense of humor as Penny–you crack each other up when you’re not driving each crazy–but you are definitely your own person. You are warm and affectionate. Everything you express is best expressed physically. You give the best hugs. You hug everyone. Us, your teachers, grandparents, friends, friends’ parents, friends’ grandparents, bus drivers, police officers, the lady giving out free bourbon chicken samples in the foodcourt, the guy who helped with our shopping cart, literally everyone. You are a hugging machine.

I love your hugs. I live for your hugs.

You also fight, wrestle, push, pull, touch and hang on the people you love. Sometimes it’s too much for Penny, your friends, grandparents, the dog, definitely the shopping cart guy, and even me, but, for you, it’s just another way to be close to people. It’s another kind of hug. When I see one of your friends playing rough  and grappling with you on the ground (I’m looking at you Ana!), I’m never concerned you will cry or lash out in retaliation. You receive these hugs as graciously, and voraciously, as you give them.

This is a hug.

Simon, you are just so awesome. I don’t know when you’ll read this, but I want you to know I love you as much as I hate Pokémon and fidget spinners. Right now, those two things are the least awesome things about you. You’re obsessed. One of the fun and scary things to do as a parent is to look into the future. What interests or characteristics do you have now that will translate into who you become? Pretty sure it won’t be anything Poké-related. Something with animals, maybe? You’re as affectionate with dogs as you are with people, and not afraid to get down and dirty with them. Something with music? You start singing along with songs the first time you hear them. I don’t know how you do it. Professional wrestler? I could see that. But, if I had to bet, I’d bet it will have something to do with helping people feel better about themselves. That is really what you do best.

I know you get mad because your mom and I tell you every day, and I may have mentioned it a couple times in this article, that we love you, but we love you so so so so so so SOOOOOO MUCH!!!

Thank you, Simon, for making us a family.

Goof ball. What would we do without you?

I’d like to sincerely thank Pampers and Life of Dad for inspiring me to write this blog post. Simon is such a funny, creative and adorable little goof ball, I really need to write about him more. It was nice to have an excuse. I’d also like to thank Pampers for recognizing dads as the amazing parents that they are and can be. It is impossible not to smile while watching this video:

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Pampers for this promotion. #ThanksBaby 

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