Billy and I didn't know much when we had kids but simple math told us they should not outnumber us - especially since those first few years the survival of "us" was intensely questionable.
This week, my friend Rebekah shared a photo on Facebook of herself, her husband and their beautiful daughter, Emilia. It was taken during the seven, precious hours that they held Emilia after she slipped away peacefully - at four days old. Embraced, kissed, held, loved.
My son’s birthday is the same day as the King. Oh, you know, THE King. This
is the enlightening conversation we had to commemorate his birthday. I hope the King had other conversations to eavesdrop on at the time.
Jake: Elvis died in the bathroom.
Me: Did he?
Jake: He was constipated, did you know you could die of that?
My husband and I stood in the drugstore aisle (me nine months pregnant), surrounded by premature Christmas decorations, contemplating the most humane way to commit murder. “Billy,” I screamed just fifteen minutes prior, “There's a mouse in the nursery!” Visibly relieved to learn the source of my upset did not necessitate him personally delivering his first child, he lovingly reassured me “Don’t worry, it’s just a field mouse; all we need to do is set a trap.”
My mother loved cabbage and I hated it. Ok, I concede this is not the most exciting of intros but hang in here with me because the tragedy deepens. Like so many other mothers raised in the post depression era, my mother followed the belief that food was a blessing and if you were fortunate enough to be served it - you better be grateful enough to eat it.
Maybe I watch too many horror films, but when your 14-month-old ignores her favorite TV show and all of her toys choosing to instead sit in front of a bookshelf repeating "Hi Rory" as she smiles and waves at nothing but books, it's a little unnerving. Sure, it's not like she was staring at the snow on a blank TV screen (ala Poltergeist, 1982) but it's still a little odd, especially when you consider she wasn't addressing a photo, or a stuffed animal or even a picture on the cover of a children's book. She was staring at a row of dictionary spines with words she couldn't possibly read (obviously).
I know I'm gonna take some flack over this one, but here goes....
Remember when you were first dating your wife? Those first few dates when all you could really focus on was what she looked like naked? You know what I'm talking about - those first few dates where she'd flash you some cleavage and about a half inch of her black lace, see-through bra and it drove you nuts with anticipation. She knew what you wanted to see, but she made you work for it: the date planning, the late-night calling, the wooing- it was all part of her master plan. She saw your eyes, even if you weren't even remotely looking at her own, and knew exactly the kind of man you were.
I was NOT a very “tiny” pregnant woman…I’m talking rest the plate on your belly to eat (standing up) kind of big. People had a lot of fun with it, except for my husband who thought it was ridiculous, and I rather enjoyed that time myself. It was truly a ton of fun having the attention and service of everyone who crossed your path. People would literally go out of their way to help me while I was growing my kids INSIDE my body; And I guess you could say that was where the dillusion of “The Village” of parents began for me.
Days like this, actually, but the morning felt like an entire day, at least...
It began at 5am with a bottle and a pre-dawn chat with Sebbie, and by 9.30am, we were at the netball ‘March Past’. This is where all the teams march around the courts chanting war cries, before the Mayor of Queanbeyan deems one of them the best marchers and officially ‘opens the season’, without a PA system, so you can’t hear a word that he says. Hannah doesn’t play netball, but managed to gash her foot open on the sidelines as a spectator.
Sometimes life is just plain excrutiating. On such days denial helps and -when denial is insufficient - prayer is particularly welcome. Today I am sincerely praying that I am not, despite all physical evidence to the contrary, raising an obese terrorist.