Happy Birthday, Little Man
by Jessica Ehlers, June 17, 2010
Four years ago today, my first and only son was born. Seems like just yesterday I huffed and puffed until I thought the whole bottom half of my body would simply break apart. And then there was a baby. And it was a boy. And he had 10 fingers and 10 toes was healthy and wailing and whew. That was no joke.
Only, there was this baby that was now under my husband's and my care. We elected to have our baby at Ukiah Valley Medical Center. I know all my friends think having your baby at a hospital rivals the work of Satan, but that was my decision and it was a good one for me. Such as the fact that there are labor pools and showers and private bathrooms and a place for your labor coach to sleep after all the huffing and puffing is over. My biggest issue was the following day, when they informed my husband and I we could take him home. Like, to our house- with no supervision.
I thought I surely needed to pass a test or something. I mean, this was a brand new human being for goodness sake. I was lucky to have had a consultation with the lactation consultant and that was helpful but much like riding a bike- or most anything for that matter- you can read about it but the practice is where the rubber hits the road.
In our lives, it is easy to get removed or distracted from one's own Mammalian status. Having my son brought me back to the basics of my humanity and it continues to do so to this day. Like, how important it is to sleep. Eat regularly, etc.
As my little man got older, I would listen to a friend of mine who would advise me, "It's harder to raise wolves than it is sheep." To which my husband and I interpreted to mean, raise them with discipline and boundaries, but don't damp their fire- for the world requires a keen sense of self-preservation and chutzpah.
And it turns out, he does have a lot of chutzpah.
Becoming a mom has been the most amazing experience of my life. I think I mention that regularly. Watching a child grow from inside your belly into a baby and then a crawling creature, then to one that walks and begins to talk and interestingly being able to see similarities from when they are in utero to who they are as, well, in my case- a 4 year old is quite amazing.
(If my old English professor, Bob Winn ever reads this, I hope he forgives me for my terrible punctuation and my ROS. You tried Bob, I merely march to my own drummer.)
And so, with that, I would like to say- Happy Birthday to the light of my life, my little boy. It's been a tricky year with all the moving and changing of parental married status, but lucky for you your mom and dad adore you more than you could ever know.
So here's to a fantastic new year. For all of us.
For Aaron Vargas and his family, for all victims of abuse, for the f*cking oil spill, for those in Haiti, for all those mom's on welfare, for the kids who are totally having a hard time with puberty, for the mentally ill who prefer homelessness over being consistent with a medication regime that might really help them stay warm and dry, to the sick, to the old, to the newborns, to the drug-addicted, I am going to go ahead and send a prayer out all over. Why not?