Don't Pity the Second Child (too much)

My youngest son, the second of two, is learning to count. When he sees a collection of objects in a book he's reading, he'll grab my finger and point to each while saying: "One, two, free, pour, pibe, sis". He's still working on seven to ten.

I'm so proud of him and I encourage him to count whenever I can. And yet, I have no videographic evidence of his feat. I'm sure I have a handful of videos of his big brother doing the same around the same age, but the poor baby of the family doesn't.

My wife and I lament this sometimes. We have fewer pictures and videos of #2's milestone events than we do for #1. We joke that it's clear who we love more, but of course that's not the case.

When your first child learns to walk and talk, it's the most amazing thing. This little person, who once lived in his mother's womb before emerging, squinting in the light of the world; who once fit easily in the crook of his parent's arm; whose only daily activities were eating, sleeping, and excreting; is now an agent who can take action in the world and communicate their needs. It's just as amazing with Baby #2, but perhaps the novelty has worn off.

But our pity for the second child is overwrought. We should celebrate that we're satisfied to live in the moment. Every new activity does not need to be documented with the meticulous care that has become common in the age of social media and ubiquitous smart phones. I'll content myself with a kiss, a snuggle, and a "Good job! Can you show me again?"

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