I was also not, at that time, overjoyed. My advanced maternal age (37), my already full plate (a sick toddler, a new-born teenager, a kid with ADD and a kid with learning disabilities, our tiny house, my ph.d program, Christian's third year review) compounded with intense nausea and vomiting, depression, and trauma left over from the difficult pregnancy, birth, and first two years of Cecily's life nearly pushed me over the edge. I remember when things got really bad: we were in Seattle visiting the Campbells and the England-Asplunds, and I could barely move because the nausea was so overwhelming. I would spend hours lying on the futon in the Campbell's basement crying, unless I was in their downstairs bathroom barfing (fyi, it's a good bathroom for that--cool, quiet, a really good toilet, sink and bathtub) or on the phone crying to my midwives ("At least you know you have a healthy pregnancy, honey"). The vitamin b-12 and unisom combo that they love to recommend did nothing. The lavander wand that Jennifer-Georgia gave me worked better, as did therapy with Betsy, Zofran, the anti-nausea drug for chemo patients, and Celexa. A few months later I was all better, except for the exhaustion, which never left, and which I attributed to "advanced maternal age."
Perhaps it was all of the happy drugs I was taking, or Betsy's insistence that the best thing for my baby would be my happiness, so I needed to pull myself together emotionally, but when Moses came out, my last baby and my only boy, he was an easy, fantastic, funny, happy lad who brought new life to our home and family. It is perhaps a weird by-product of my patriarchal up-bringing, but I also harbored the secret thought that now Cecily would have someone to take care of her, a brother to watch out for her. Perhaps I was thinking of my own brother David, a considerate and watchful brother, not quite two years younger than me, just like Moses and Cecily. And Cecily's physical vulnerability at the time, which she has pretty much outgrown.
Today, Moses is still sunshine. Cheerful, chipper, talkative, humourous, curious--I never tire of our lengthy discussions about fire alarms (i.e. what will happen if we pull them and there's no fire?) every single day on the way home from school, or fire extinguishers (what will happen if kids spray the fire extinguisher? will the fireman be mad?) or the fire hydrants (can we touch them?) I'm not sure how he manages to make a half-hour conversation out of that topic every day, but it's always an intriguing window into his adorable, brilliant little mind. Add that to all the times every day he hugs and kisses me, tells me I'm his best friend, that my cheeks and hair and dress are beautiful, and you've got the perfect little boy. I'm trying not to create a little prince out of him, but Eva and Ingrid tell me it's too late.
I know the lore says you're not supposed to tell a kid they were an accident lest they feel unwanted, but to me this is a testament to an extra special kid--one who could bring so much joy into the world at such a difficult time for our family. It's true, he was an "accident," though perhaps a karmic one, and definitely an accident of the happy, happy variety.
Happy, Happy boy.
Happy, Happy birthday.