To my boys, when I first learned how to love you


You are both asleep now, by some miracle.

Adlai, you’ve learned how to catapult yourself over your crib railing, but I’ve learned that if I wear you out at the park in the morning, you won’t kick up too much fuss over naptime.  Koa, I’ve laid you in your Moses basket by the washing machine, because you sleep better where it’s noisy than you do where it’s still.

A few weeks ago, every morning I woke up to one of you crying either for milk, or for someone to come and fetch you from your bed, and my heart sank.  All of me groaned, “here we go again,” and I hated it.  I hated that I couldn’t give either one of you all I wanted to, and I hated that I hated it.

Life was hard, and when people asked me how I was doing, I tried to tell them.  I tried to be honest and say, “it’s hard right now,” because I’ve learned that that’s the best way to do life. Honestly.  And I’ve learned that you can’t wish for help and not tell anyone that you need it.

This morning, we sat in the living room, Adlai on the sofa, Koa in my lap in our big red chair, and my heart was happy, peaceful. And right now, I don’t take that for granted.  I wanted to write this down, to remember how it was when I first learned how to love you both.

I think, one day, it will seem like a distant memory.  I’ll probably never forget that those first three months were hard, but it will become fuzzy, like looking through a dirty window, like reading about a place rather than seeing it for yourself.

I saw a mom with a new baby in the park today.  She was holding the tiny one close while she watched her big boy on the climbing frame. A few months ago, I would’ve seen that same woman and thought for sure she was blissfully happy, with her cute toddler and her tiny baby.  Perfect life. And maybe this mom is handling things better than I did. Maybe her little baby is not colicky and she wakes up every morning ready for the day.  But in case she doesn’t, I’m glad I can walk over to her and ask her how she’s doing, and when she says, “It’s hard right now,” I can say, “It gets better.”

Because it does, my sweet boys.  It really does.  I am so grateful, because it was hard, but we have done it.  We are doing it.  I am learning how to love you.

Author: Faith

Faith Dwight is a photographer and a writer. She is a Southern American girl living just north of London with her British husband, Simon and their two halfling sons.

6 thoughts

  1. Love the honesty of life with little ones. I often see the same picture of the lady in the park, and know she must be so tired/overwhelmed/exhausted. Honest about motherhood is pure and keeps women from feeling shitty about themselves!

  2. This made me laugh. Not because its funny. I get it. It’s not funny but boy oh boy is it familiar. Thanks for putting it into words. I learn to love my wiry 3 year old son every day over and over again 🙂

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