Friday, November 16, 2007


My husband and I have been married five years today. Seems like a small number when you consider the fact that we have been together 26 years (yes, I was a mere fetus). On that first wedding night we went to a nice bed and breakfast with a jacuzzi in it and swore we would do it every year on our anniversary. Ha. On our first anniversary our son was eight days old. I was in the midst of postpartum depression. Hubby and I went out for a drive while I dreaded the thought of having to go back to the screaming baby at home. We went shopping for a breast pump. I remember the person who sold/rented them at Parkdale Pharmacy wasn't in yet and we had to kill twenty minutes. We walked around in the cold, rainy parking lot, holding hands while I tried not to cry and turned my mouth into a smile-like shape when I looked at my husband. I wanted him to think that I was okay. That I was still the sane person he had married the year before. I don't think it worked and I know for sure that the trying not to cry didn't work.

The next year we had a one year old and really had no one to look after him for a whole night so no B&B. The following year, on our anniversary, I found out I was pregnant. I slipped a homemade card announcing the news (the same one I'd used in telling him of our impending first child only with AGAIN on it) into his anniversary card. We went to supper and celebrated and were excited at the thought of another one. But that child was not meant to be and our anniversary last year only managed to remind me of the sadness of our loss and how happy we had mistakenly been the previous year. We took the boy out with us for a quiet supper last year and I vowed never to connect two things like that together again for fear one would always stand as a reminder of the other. And it does. No doubt about it. I'll never have another anniversary without remembering what we lost, without thinking about hubby and I at the Bagel Cafe, he drinking his beer, me happy that I was stuck with water, or the anniversary card with the insert inside.

This year we're pregnant again and past that scary first trimester. It makes the tinged day a little easier to know we have this baby on the way now. As for today, I mentioned to my son that Daddy and I might be going out for supper for our anniversary and maybe he could stay with one of his aunts while we did. He said "why can't we have our anniversary right here, all together". Hubby and I agreed with him and so it's takeout tonight. I figure one day we'll get back to that B&B and the jacuzzi though.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Four years ago

Four years ago today everything changed. Oh, maybe not for you but it did for me. Four years ago my son made his grand entrance to the world. I had spent the previous months terrified that I couldn't do the huge job ahead. I, who had never changed a diaper, barely had held a baby, and didn't really like kids, figured that mothering was not going to be my best ability. And for the first few weeks I think I lived up to that self-fulfilling prophecy, looking at the infant who kept me awake at nights, never seemed to sleep, and cried most of the time, with something less than love. Mostly I looked at him with fear but eventually that changed and I fell head over heels for the boy. These past four years have been the best of my life, truly, and, as cliche as it sounds, I really can't remember life without him. What hubby and I did without his silliness making us laugh or his insight into something amazing us, I don't know. Before four years ago I just went to bed, I guess, never stopping to stand over a bed or a crib, whispering a prayer of gratitude for the occupant inside as I do now every night. Before four years ago, I slept more but the waking hours weren't nearly as fun or interesting (or stressful and frustrating at times). Four years ago I didn't know what a Backyardigan was and I couldn't tell you the name of Clifford the Big Red Dog's owner or how to make homemade plasticine or how to swaddle a baby with my eyes closed. I never thought I would enjoy a children's birthday party just because of how it makes my son happy to go to one or how rewarding and peaceful (and stressful and frustrating at times) breastfeeding could be.

And now I'm going to do it all again with child number two due in March. This time I go into it with much less apprehension and much more appreciation of the task at hand. I've heard people say that going from one child to two is the hardest but obviously they forgot about going from zero to one when your life was changed completely and things went from being about you to about someone else. When your sleeping was suddenly at the mercy of another person who didn't always cooperate. When you learned that a little toothless smile at 4:00 in the morning after you haven't slept all night can fill your eyes with joyful tears and can make you know that if you could just have that smile forever, Sunday morning lie-ins, and watching TV without any disturbances, and going out to supper all the time without crayon placemats at your table could be things you can do without. Just like I found out four years ago.