All of me

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Through my Eyes

on February 7, 2014

When my sister-in-law first got pregnant, everyone was so excited – especially her parents. This baby would be the first grandchild and they couldn’t wait to welcome this little bundle of miracles in the coming year. I tried to be as excited as I could. But all I could think of was, “it should be me”. I was the one who had been trying unsuccessfully for five years to bring my own miracle into this world. We were the older of the two, it should have followed the same birth-order, right? It didn’t.

Our little miracle of a nephew came into this world with great anticipation. The new grandma and grandpa couldn’t be happier. You had to pry baby from grandpa’s arms to have any decent time with them and they always seemed to be with their bundle of joy that their daughter and son-in-law produced. Proud grandparents – as they should be.

Finally, it was my turn. How ecstatic was I that we would finally bring our own miracle into the family and how I anticipated the great things having grandparents close by would bring. I saw what they did for my nephew, and looked forward to beaming with joy as my son got to partake in the same kind of memories. That didn’t happen.

Instead, I watched as my son’s grandpa would barely hold him – how you practically had to just throw him into his arms and walk away just so that he would pay any attention to him. And if my nephew happened to be there at the same time, my son was all but forgotten. Attention was turned to my nephew every time. And we would sit there, invisible. Toys and trucks that were given to my nephew to play with at grandma and grandpa’s house or the trailer were kindly handed down, but no new treasures were given with that special love that I saw the year before.

I thought it would be different. I thought – this is it! We are expanding the family name by having a son! We are finally getting that miracle we waited so long for and he will be so precious and I’ll get to see those great things with my own child that I watched happened as my nephew grew up. I thought the son of a son of a son would mean something.

Tonight, my heart broke into a thousand pieces as my son and his cousin played with each other and grandpa entered the room. Instantly, the attention was once again on my nephew, with a big hug from grandpa and immediate playing in the living room. Not even a hello to his other grandson. No acknowledgement. And I watched as my son watched the interaction on a toy, quiet and unsure.

My mind went back to this last Thanksgiving where my son was playing around the trailer and we got this statement, “don’t expect me to be chasing after your son”. But then as soon as the first-born came, Papa was right there following him around as my own child watched on.

Of all the families I know, I thought the one I married into would be the last on the list to treat their family this way. Especially after experiencing the same thing with their own children when they were young.

Soon, a new member of the family will be joining us, and I’m scared. I’m scared that this will happen a second time over – and that as my son grows up, he starts to understand what this means. I’m afraid he’ll get even more left behind, and I’ll have to watch his heart get broken as he tries to understand why he doesn’t seem as important as his cousins. I hope I’m wrong.

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