The last time it was just the orignal three--Lily, Mike and me--we were in a PICU room at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Lily was recovering from her shunt revision. The time before that was another shunt revision. Before that was probably an MRI and before that, Lily was in treatment for a brain tumor. And way, way back, it was us and Lily in the NICU--Lily, our tiny, strong premature infant, who showed the world what she was capable of, 11 weeks before she was supposed to be in the world.
Tonight, it's just the three of us again, but don't worry--tonight, we are hanging in a hotel room after an evening road trip. Tomorrow morning, we will drop Lily off at a childhood cancer survivor camp, pretend like we are not horrified at the idea of 5 days without her and drive home.
When I was looking for a photo to include tonight of the three of us, I found this one of baby Lily and Mike asleep. And I cannot stop laughing. Even though they are not in the same bed, they are both asleep, while I am creepily gazing at them and thinking about how much I love them.
I cherish the special time the three of us spend together. I really have such wonderful memories of the times we were alone in hospital rooms. I know it is crazy; but when the three of us are together there is this seemingly impossible feeling that we can do anything. It's the power of three, I guess. And it is definitely the special thing about first borns.
Your first born gets to have you both before anyone else has entered the scene. They get you when you are humble and shocked by your new title of parent. They get you when you are not yet fully exhuasted and jaded by sleep training and potty training and toddlerhood. They get you when everything is still miraculous and shiny and new. It is not that your younger kids get the short end of the stick; they just get a different you.
Your first born knew you before you were truly a parent. They knew you when you were a newbie, a novice and hot mess and now they know you are still a hot mess, but you are capable of getting through it all. I think you grow up along side your oldest child, no matter how old you are when they become yours.