It’s been three and a half years since my baby was delivered. My baby who didn’t cry and made my heart sink that something was wrong. My baby who couldn’t get warm so couldn’t be brought for me to hold her, until several hours later. My baby who had a hole in the roof of her mouth, and two feet turned in, which was explained to me before I even really got to get a good look at her. My baby who was the size of a preemie, despite being full term, because something had gone wrong inside the womb, and the placenta was abnormally small.
We’ve been through a lot, but really, she’s fine. She’s had so many doctors visits that she thinks of them as a field trip, with toys and adventure. In fact, she was so excited to go to the hospital for her ear tubes surgery, that she couldn’t wait for the day, and got up with me in the early hours with joy instead of grumbling. But she continues to grow and learn and improve and for the most part it’s a history that has left very little stain on her present. Most people have absolutely no idea that anything was ever or could possibly be wrong with her. She’s bright, sociable, lovable, kind, talkative, energetic, funny, clever and all around a wonderful and, in the best way possible, normal little person.
But for some reason, when I go through her medical documents my heart still lurches. I keep a running medical diagnoses document to take with me, so that I don’t have to remember the last time she had an ear infection or what she took for it, or try to remember the date of a specific surgery. Or the medical names for things we’re tracking with blood samples or sonograms or whatever. I keep it all written down, modify it as needed and print a copy before a visit. It makes keeping up with her history painless for me. And yet, my heart still hurts.
I can’t fathom why. She’s such a treasure of a child, and none of that past impacts her day to day life now, really, so why do I get squeamish when I’m filing her papers? I should be used to it now. She’s here, she’s my snuggle bunny, she drives me nuts in a typical threenager temper-tantruming type of way. Why does my heart still go up into my throat when I think about her past? My five year old has had surgeries.. she’s had adenoidectomy, tonsillectomy and tubes, all because the poor thing couldn’t hear in school or breathe well at night, but I don’t get the same sinking feeling when looking at her old photos. Granted, she is a strong, brave, spirited child who doesn’t know the words ‘slow,’ ‘quiet,’ or ‘calm.’ I love her just as much, but she doesn’t make me ache.
I wish I could get past this because I don’t want my feelings to make my baby think she’s not strong or that she’s somehow not whole.
With the brief hiatus of nearly three years of child rearing out of the way, I’m finally ready to get my brain back into writing mode. The intention is two-fold: document the stories of my bitty girls’ childhood for remembrance always, and to hopefully gain the capacity to someday be an actual writer.
I frequently regret that I haven’t been keeping up with sharing the daily anecdotes. I have those moments of, “oh gosh I need to tell someone what they did, it was soooo funny/cute.” Instead I wait until I’m only left with the residue of the memory, just that it was something really share-worthy, but heck if I can remember what it actually was.
And that’s just awful. It’s the bitter after-taste of forgetfulness instead of the flavor of a memory well shared.
I can’t tell you the number of times I call Eric and say, “Aria asked the funniest thing in the car this morning!” and he’ll go, “yeah?” and I’ll pause and then, “yeah.. it was.. it was something about dinosaurs.. and it was really clever.. but I can’t remember what it actually was..”
I guess motherhood really zaps the memory cells or something.
So anywho, Aria is in Kindergarten and Avery is in daycare pre K and both love school and the new house and snow and being each other’s sister (most of the time) and life is constantly chaotic. Aria is involved in a few activities and I’m working on getting Avery back into activity-mode. She regressed upon turning three – or maybe upon our move into the new house – and has been unable to detach herself from my leg long enough to go do paid-for activities. Therefore, she hasn’t been enrolled. But I’m thinking we’ve turned a corner because when she sees Aria doing “kicking and punching” or hockey or whatever, she asks if she can do something. I think dance was great for her when she participated, so I’m hoping we can try that again with better success.
Ok well, this is my official first effort to get back into it, let’s not push it.