I know every mom does it, but I've found myself just staring at this little girl for...well...minutes at a time and wondering what she's going to do and be when she gets older. I wonder who she's going to marry and what she's going to enjoy and if her hair will be curly or straight. I wonder if it's even possible for her to be as sweet and wonderful as her older brother.
And then I stop. Because I don't remember wondering those things about him. Granted, at the time I'd been through like 5 of the 7 major life changes (let's see: moving (3 times in the States and twice between different countries in the course of about 18 months); finish a degree; start/end a job (did both twice in that same 18-ish months); marry; pregnancy and birth of a baby - the only ones I didn't do were a death and a divorce) in just over a year so I was a little overwhelmed with catching up to life. Plus, AJ just didn't sleep. Comparing him to his sister, he _REALLY_ didn't sleep. For months. Partly my fault. Mostly just him.
But back to my point. I was a "little" out of it by the time AJ came along and basically just in survival mode. That doesn't leave much room for day dreams. But I also think it was because I had no idea what to expect, so no idea what to day dream about for him.
With Joanna, I've seen how great her big brother is, I've had a little more time to figure life out again, I'm healing MUCH faster, and I'm getting WAY more sleep. As a result, I have the time and ability to dream dreams for my little girl.
I think it's more than that though. When I look at AJ, I get an overwhelming sense of exuberant joy and bone-deep sweetness. When I look at Joanna, I get an overwhelming sense of possibility. I think it's just intrinsically who she is and who he is. Even right now when all she does is eat, sleep, poop, cry, and burp (and hold her head up a little and follow her mama with her eyes!), she just exudes possibility in a way that AJ never did and still doesn't, despite his obvious intelligence. That's not to say that he's not going to make a mark in this world or that she's not going to be sweet in her own way, just that their natures shine through even before they take their first steps or say their first words.
I think I had this idea that babies are blank slates who are mostly shaped by their environment. I mean, sure, we all have our own unique natural leanings, but I guess I just thought that Joanna would resemble her brother more at this point.
Geez...this blog post has been percolating in my head for a week now and it's still all rambley. Sorry. Hopefully y'all won't think I'm putting down either of my children because I'm not. I'm excited to see what the future holds for both of them and I expect great things of both of them (although my definition of "great" may be different than most)...I'm just in awe of their uniqueness, even when all you can see is their head sticking out of a "baby burrito" (or more romantically, a cocoon enveloping the caterpillar while it metamorphoses into a butterfly - but baby burrito is funnier and quicker to type).
I dunno...maybe that's why her middle name is Hope.