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.


At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Steve said...

That was one of the nicest tributes to parenthood I've ever read.

Happy Birthday to your son.

At 6:56 PM, Blogger Geoff Meeker said...

Welcome back! Now I know what you've been doing!

But seriously, you ARE in for some surprises with the second. It is usually a very different personality with a surprising new set of challenges. That was certainly the case with our second.

I nodded at your reference to life before children. Prior to the birth of my own, I just assumed that having children meant I would be sacrificing a lot of things that mattered to me. But I had it all wrong. Children added so much, whilst taking away nothing, except maybe some time which, I realize now, was being squandered anyway.

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous TrudyJ said...

"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."

You and me both...that so sums up how I felt when Chris was born. And yes, having a second child does present a whole new range of experiences, but the huge shift in your life has already occured, so I think it's easier to adapt the second time.

At 4:24 PM, Blogger nadinebc said...

Congrats Tina! And thanks for that posting, its been a rough go for us with The Boy of late. He hasn't been feeling well. Your post gave me the warm and fuzzies.

At 11:36 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

TINA! I think I (we...KIR) need a HUGE update from you lady! HUGE! Congratulations!

Happy Birthday Sam!

At 6:50 PM, Blogger Shana said...

Congratulations!!!!!! Woo hoo!!!

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Cam said...

Congratulations, my friend. ::hug::

I'm so happy for you. I was just thinking about you a couple of days ago when I saw my cherished TMIT book in my bookcase. I wondered how you were doing & made a note to check your blog when I had time. Looks like you will soon learn what it's like to go from 1 to 2! I'm personally finding it challenging, but not nearly as challenging as going from none to one was. And I was just like you before.

Come chat with us when you have a chance!

At 6:30 PM, Blogger Denise said...

Congratulations Tina!! I'm so happy for you. I hope you will drop in from time to time to share your progress with us, for old times sake. :) You are missed a bunch. I hope Sam had a wonderful birthday. Give him a kiss from me and a high-five from Jake.

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Tina Chaulk said...

Thanks, everyone for your kind comments.


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