the other day charlie was (hopefully) joking around with his mom and made a comment about the people that i love in the order that i love them. he said it goes "avery, me, then the dogs". and his mom said "well at least you know how it is". here's the thing that no one tells you when you have a baby: after all the newness wears off and you settle into routines, there will come a time when your husband feels like your love the baby more than him.
for me, before avery was born, it was sort of impossible to imagine how i would feel about her. i wasn't one of those people who felt really connected with her when i was pregnant. maybe this was partially due to not finding out whether she was a he or a she; i couldn't picture her/him before i know who i was picturing. anyway, when i was pregnant i couldn't imagine loving this baby nearly as much as i loved my husband. not even close. and then avery was born. it wasn't 'love at first sight' for me as i've heard so many people describe, it was more like meeting someone i already knew. when i saw her for the first time i remember thinking 'well, of course that's you' and i sort of imagine she felt the same way. it wasn't love at first sight because we already knew each other. we were just meeting face-to-face for the first time.
and honestly, having a baby has only made me love my husband even more. even when it's 4 am and she's been up 3 times already that night and we're arguing about how to sleep-train or not sleep-train the baby. there's no one else in the world i'd want to be in this mess with. watching him with her makes me so happy. he does things with her that i don't, plays with her in different ways & teaches her things that i wouldn't think about. so in no way do i love him less than i ever did. but the love that i have for that baby? it's far greater than i ever could have imagined. it's not more than the love that i have for charlie; it's just different. the love that i have for avery is more of a protective thing. i'd do anything for her; give anything for her; and the thought of anything or anyone hurting her -- well, there's nothing i wouldn't do to stop it. i don't feel that way about charlie. sure, i've got his back but i'm not about to punch a bear in the face for him. maybe it's because i know he can take care of himself & she's still so small and helpless. maybe, it's just a parent thing. maybe it's a mom thing. i don't know. but i do know that having a baby has multiplied the love in my life in a way that i couldn't have imagined. and charlie? know this: when i'm rocking the baby, or feeding the baby, or pacing the halls to get her to fall asleep: i'm thinking of you. and missing you. and when we do get that precious alone time, it means more to me than it ever did.