A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

The Exclamation Point

Jack is 3.5 years old, but it feels like he has been the closest person to me forever. He changed me in ways that no one has. He changed my purpose in life from little things to the biggest things. I always knew I wanted another child. I also knew that I would experience a heartbreaking change in my relationship with Jack. I predicted it so vividly that it made me choke with sobs.

The moment Exley came, the very moment, my relationship with Jack was transformed drastically. Those early weeks and months were chaotic. We were all so fragile; so unsure of where the pieces of our lives thrown into turmoil by Exley’s arrival would land. Things seem anything but calm around here now, but they are light years from where they were during Exley’s 4th trimester.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, with sons.

I feel close to Exley. It took working through intense feelings of guilt and fear to get here, but I am now unabashedly head over heels in love with him. I want to kiss him 7,000 times a day and do. I hold him close to me almost always. I have loved getting to know him. And I can’t wait to get him to know him the way I now know Jack since he is older, can talk and has strong opinions.

These early days with Exley are so different than they were with Jack since it is not just us. There is this other person here. This walking, talking, growing force called Jack. He is at an intense age filled with emotion, overwhelm and meltdowns. He is impossible to deny. Our relationship is changing all of the time. He is growing so fast and forcefully, he is inside every moment.

Sometimes Jack feels far away. Sometimes he feels so close I can’t breathe. No matter where he is standing his presence is known. He will always be the great exclamation point in our lives.

Abby Theuring, MSW