It was May of 2010 when the ultrasound tech declared with nervous hands and an unsteady voice, “there are three heartbeats.” And ever since that day, we have put those three heartbeats on a pedestal. The only problem is, when you line up three pedestals, you can’t help but compare the wood, the height and the make of each one.
And so it began, that day under the ultraviolet lights, with my feet in stir-ups and my heart in a nervous dance, we began to compare. What is baby a’s heart rate? And baby b? How about baby c?
And almost 2 1/2 years later, I still do it. The curse of comparing your kids.
When we left the hospital with all three tiny and wrinkled bundles, I will never forget one of the nurses saying to me, in reference to my lone boy in the group of two other girls, “Now Mom, he will be slower. He will talk last. He will do things last, he is the boy.” I nodded my head, wondering how that factored into my child, now 72 hours old, and filed it away for another day.
I still think about that nurse and what she said. I don’t think her words were wise or full of wisdom, in fact, I think just the opposite. Somedays I want to call her and say, “Guess what, my son, you know the one you said would be slow – er … he was the first to say a word. Oh, and by the way, he is the only one that has ‘peed in the potty.’
I used to google rare diseases or think about calling our state funded therapy program with every new milestone ONE of my triplets made and the other two had not even thought about yet. You should have seen the googling going on when TWO of three checked off babbling and the third smiled with a gummy grin, content with no outside communication. Thankfully all 3 walked within weeks of each other, or I would still be googling.
I have learned, and I continue to learn, that my kids, although from the same mother and father, the same womb and even the same birthday – will never be the SAME. I spent so many days comparing “what the book said” to what they were actually doing – and all that came out of it was a nervous mother and a child that just needed my love.
So, each day, I try to remember something I learned in yoga years ago. One will be first and one will be last.
And it doesn’t really matter what order it is in. It just doesn’t.
Have you found a way to let go of comparing your children?