Number of times the dishwasher ran: 4
Number of times I picked up toys for them to be strewn about within minutes: at least 17
Number of people sleeping between 10pm-7am: 9, most of the time.
Number of people sleeping between 1:30pm-3pm: 6
Number of people crammed into our living room at once: 11
Number of gallons of milk consumed: 1
Number of balloons used: 175
Number of emotional meltdowns: 0
Number of times I thought to myself, “Is there anyone who has it better? I doubt it.”: Countless.
It was a good celebration of the little man.
This morning I could have the pick of any jewelry in my box, but I selected a simple silver locket. It’s not a one-of-a-kind, but it’s special. In fact, I have two very similar looking silver lockets, but this one is the only one with a tiny picture inside. That’s because this was my first.
I thought back to when Husband gave me the necklace; we’d been in town barely a few months, but felt loved upon by the community around us. In terms of birth stories, H’s was the most “exciting” of the three because the evening after he was welcomed into the world, the nurses decided he should to go the special nursery, and then to Children’s Hospital. On arrival we were pretty much assured nothing was wrong but got to hang around the metro area for 2 nights. Welcome to the world of parenting and over-reacting.
When we arrived home, nursing didn’t come easy for the 2 of us – neither of us knew what we were doing. But we hung on tight and after a week established a bit of a rhythm. It was an eventful first week at that; H Boy lost his great-grandfather the night he came home from the hospital. It’s as if the two were crossing paths. So H met many family and friends in the funeral home.
My mother-in-law once said that “you love each of your kids differently; not more, not less. Just different.” And it’s so true. M and C are loved equally in this house, but H has a special place in my heart as my first. He’s who introduced me to a new kind of love. Marriage involves sacrificial love, but it’s a lot of give and take. Parenting ends up being about 90% give, though you glean blessings along the way that make the outpouring worth the while. Each step of the way this little fella has shown me that it’s in giving that you truly receive. When you die to self, you find true life. When you think beyond yourself, you are more richly blessed than by grabbing at air, trying to self-preserve.
I could wander any craft show and find some sentimental saying about a mother’s love, but those cross-stitchings just don’t grasp the depths. To spend 9 months living as one, and then several more months solely providing for his existence solidifies a bond like no other. I love wearing the necklace that I don today because I’m the only one who can.