Having a second child has been good for me. I probably won't know how many words she can say at 18 months, but hopefully I'll know it doesn't matter. She will almost certainly go on to be literate and productive in society. I will probably let her eat refined sugars before her first birthday. I suspect her teeth won't fall out and she will continue to follow a normal growth curve. I am learning that most people don't care how many hours we all slept last night, and that my day goes better if I don't bother tallying those hours anyway. I've discovered my body, mind, and spirit are capable of functioning on much less than I previously felt entitled to own. Basically: life is not about me, my opinions, my neuroses, or even my family. These are good lessons, which I probably wouldn't have chosen to learn.
Having a second child has been good for my first child. He no longer thinks his preferences and requests must be immediately processed. He has already learned that someone can be simultaneously worthy of love and guilty of inducing frustration. He is discovering that caring for someone vulnerable is both challenging and rewarding. These are difficult but important lessons, and I'm glad he can learn them at home and at such a young age.
Perspective is partially inherited and partially cultivated. How interesting that many of the experiences that shape us are not ones we sought, but rather ones we received. Perspective is a gift, and I am thankful God saw fit to send me the present in a form I could not have imagined. I wonder how many lessons and rewards I have passed up by attempting to dictate the parameters of what I would and would not accept from God's hand? However many there were, I would like to miss fewer in the future. I hope the good Lord teaches me to loosen my grip on my own plans, so I can better reach for His.