Second Verse. (Not the) Same as the First.

We had our second son on Wednesday. Jack Peter now has a little brother. Reid Parker. We take him home today.

Already, I’ve a new parental philosophy. (In my mind, I can see Angela Chase fix Jordan Catalano with that look. “You have a philosophy?” I miss My So-Called Life.)

Different. Not better. Just different.

It’s a mantra, a Buddist ‘om’ said between breaths. Having two of anything begs comparison. As parents, my wife and I have no other frames of reference.

One came out with a full head of Blagojevich-esque hair (Jack.) One did not. (Reid.) One came quick and easy. (Reid.) One did not. (Jack.) One makes a lot of noise, little mews and cries. (Reid.) One didn’t. (Jack.)

This list could go on, stretching well into their adulthood. It is my sacred mission as a father to make sure that it doesn’t.

My worry is that these kinds of comparisons become the way I talk about my boys for the rest of my life. That they hear these comparisons as proof of preference. My preference.

If I had one fear as a re-new Dad, aside from dropping Reid on his soft little head, it’s that my heart wouldn’t have room for them both. That I would be incapable of giving each of them the love and attention that they deserve.

Silly. The fears of a rank amateur.

Our best stretch in the hospital so far was Thursday morning, when my mother-in-law brought Jack in to meet his brother. As much love as I’d focused on Reid, I realized I’d missed my other little guy. As much as Jack wanted to see Lara and I, he loved sitting in my lap while we looked at Reid. “Baby brother,” he kept saying, then looking at us to smile.

The hair. The mewing. The delivery time. None of it matters. It’s just description. How I anchor you each in my mind, boys. What makes you different from each other. Not better. Just different.

I love you just the same. And for exactly who you are.

Note From the Editor: This post made me shed many tears as a mom. Tears that could relate. Tears that wonder if I secretly or maybe not so secretly compare my girls. Follow Alan on Twitter @AlanKercinik and read more of his blog at Always Jacked. And as always… leave a note. Can you relate?


  1. Kelly says:

    I think I compare my kids more often than I think I do. I have the fear that one of them might grow up to be “the book worm” or the “sporty one” simply because I’ve put it into their heads unknowingly. I do agree that the love is there enough for both… just different. *hugs*

  2. Jeff Bogle says:

    Oh man does this bring back memories. I was so excited for my oldest daughter’s first encounter with my youngest and newest in May of 2007. In the hospital, she gently touched her toes, fingers and nose. Rubbed the stuffed fishy she picked out weeks prior on her newborn head and legs. The photos and videos from that exact moment are etched into my brain. Thanks for taking me back there today! Now where did I leave those tissues…