Forgetting and remembering

I had my first baby. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. Labor was a piece of cake compared to trying to nurse and trying to have the baby gain weight and trying to take a shower and trying to sleep and trying to be a wife and trying to eat and trying to be happy that this little gift was here forever and I was in charge. My mom never told me this part!

But we survived. I would look at her darling face and forget the pain. And I had another. Oh how grand boys are! The perfectly pristine life of my first darling baby forever changed. She was introduced to PBS. I could nurse the baby and rest. I could take a shower and clean the new baby. I could fix dinner while the baby was sleeping. I could go to the bathroom alone.

We were happy and I would look at my two perfect babies and forget the chaos. And I had another. She was darling and quiet and perfect. Baby number two was introduced to PBS and I survived. But, my voice rose and life for number one and two changed. Their quietness became louder. They were introduced to time out. They had to learn it was not okay to bite the baby. We do not hit in our house. It was never okay to leave the house alone. We do not run down the street and around the block, ignoring mom yelling to come back now!

We played and took walks and loved life and I would look at my three precious babies and forgive the naughtiness. And I had another. Baby number four took us all by surprise. He ate and slept and ate and grew and grew and ran and ran and hasn’t stopped. Babies one, two and three have taken to taking care of baby four. He needs 5 people watching out for him. He needs to not be naked before he goes outside. He needs a snack now before he dies. He needs his hand held before he falls and cuts his eye wide open requiring 6 stitches. He needs to laugh and swing and take walks. He needs to be loved by all.

His world will never change.

I’ve remembered it all now. I won’t forget and have another.

…but I wish I could…

Jayne Thomas lives in Charleston, SC with 4 babies that keep getting bigger and bigger. She tries to remember what time swim practice is and why she walked upstairs. She can be reached at


4 responses to “Forgetting and remembering

  1. Isn’t it so interesting the things we let the later ones do that we thought would ruin the first one if we let them do it? My oldest had no idea what TV was until baby number two came. And baby number three? She has never known a life WITHOUT the TV. Excellent letter. Loved it!

  2. It’s kind of all over when number three comes a long. You are all mom all the time. But you say it much better than that and remind me to count my blessings when I’m going through and when I have gotten through it.

  3. I love these letters. They are like reading my journal, only much better.

  4. Jill Casillas

    I’m the mother of the mother who wrote. I love watching her quiet, patient mothering and I learn from her even if it is too late to put into practice. I looked at her picture at the bottom of the letter and was amazed at how much she looks like my mother. The three of us! How different we were as mothers yet alike in many ways. Mothering is so generational and so eternal and we don’t even know it…..or admit it.

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