Ten years ago today, around 2:30 am, I half-roused from a deep sleep. I laid in bed for a few minutes, shifting around to find a comfortable position. Out of nowhere, I felt a POP from somewhere in the vicinity of my crotch. It was such a distinct POP that for a moment I thought I heard it.
My eyes few open and I clenched my knees together. I said "Pop." "Pop?" replied Hubby, whom I had thought was sound asleep."Yep," I said, as I rolled over onto my side and leapt out of bed with a speed and agility belying by 39 years and 205 pounds. I tiptoed the ten feet to the toilet, legs clamped firmly together, and dropped into place. A warm rush of fluid hit the water. I called out to Hubby "It's time!"
Hubby leapt from the bed and scurried down the hall. "It's time," I heard him holler downstairs to where 16 year old Lovely Daughter was sleeping. Surprisingly enough, she answered right away, which was a miracle in itself.
I called the labor deck at the hospital. Did I have time for a shower? I did, but was cautioned not to dawdle. I showered and dressed, walking around with a towel clamped between my thighs. We gathered our goods and headed out into the summer night, the sky lit only the full moon.
It was time.
So then some stuff happened, and some other stuff happened. At noon, he finally made his entrance. Lovely Daughter was there the whole time, which may explain why, at the age of 26, she has no desire to have babies quite yet.
But she was entranced by this little being, this baby brother whose appearance meant that she was no longer an only child. They spent a lot of time together in those early days.
Hubby was thrilled by his son. When Young Son wasn't physically attached to me, he could usually be found somewhere on Hubby's person. This continued for most of the first two years, as Young Son was a fussy baby who needed a lot on contact.
Hubby's a good dad, and was happy to have a chance to do it again. When Lovely Daughter was new, he was going out to sea for months at a time and missed quite a bit of the first few years. This time he would get the full experience.
The four-legged members of the household took to the little being right away. In the early days all three of them outweighed him by at least a factor of two. He seemed to like them well enough, too. As far as we could tell, anyway. He did develop allergies before he hit a year old, though, and we had to re-home all of the pets.
So there we were, in the 21st year of marriage, caring for a newborn. It was a very valuable learning experience. Probably the most important lesson I learned is that those things I used to feel badly about when Lovely Daughter was little -- all of those things I swore I'd do differently if I had it to do over again -- I didn't Sure, I was 16 years older and presumably a little wiser, but I found myself dealing with the same preferences, dislikes, and quirks I had in my twenties. In a way, it was kind of liberating.
The first year was incredibly rough. But time passed as it tends to do and it got a little easier, week by week.
Now, ten years later, we have this funny, quirky, gangly boy with these incredibly long arms and legs whom you can just tell is poised on the brink of puberty.
That's one consequence of having kids so far apart. I've already been down the road. I know what's ahead and I know how fast it happens. The joy of watching him grow has been coated in an extra layer of bittersweet. But better bittersweet than not having the joy at all.
Happy Double-Digit Day, Young Son!