3 years ago I was anxiously awaiting the birth of our second child. Based on the old wives tale that second babies come early, I had my bag packed and waiting by the door. I was marvelling over my impossibly large stomach and doing my best to take every moment I could to enjoy my baby girl who was about to become a big sister. Whenever I slept I dreamed of who this little person would be. Probably active, I would think, as baby kicked the daylights out of me. For such tiny feet, baby could really move. I was still trying to guess if this baby was a boy or a girl. I had a feeling I knew that part. But what else about this active little person? Big? Small? Quiet? Noisy?
On February 28th, 2009, we found out. About a week and a half overdue, our first son was born. A healthy 8lbs 7oz little man. All chub and rolls and sweetness. He was, as I recall, a very calm baby. His big sister adored him from the moment she layed eyes on him. The little mother in her was born that day too. I remember his delivery really well. Our doctor, who later became our family doctor, came in with a mood of patience and humour, exactly what I needed. By the time I was pushing I was grinning like a fool (oh epidural, you have your up side!) and making jokes between pushes. I had a mirror set up so I could watch him come out. I had said during our older daughter's birth that the last thing I wanted to do was see to the way everything looked when a baby came out, but braved it for our son. I'm so grateful I did. (Mind you, I didn't use the mirror for the next two, I had seen all I needed to see.) I even touched the top of his head as he started to come out. His birth was empowering, beautiful, and exciting. I had a feeling he was a boy, so when my husband announced him by name after he was born I wasn't surprised, but still deeply overjoyed to see our first son. Named for his Granddad, his Daddy, and St. Francis, he has lived up to the potential of three such wonderful names.
In the years since then our boy has surprised me, scared me, and taught me so much. He is a tender hearted soul and very sensitive, but he's also so bold and particular. He likes things his way, but is also so sweet and considerate with everyone he meets (after he's finished saying 'no'). We've had two more children since his birth and he has become a wonderful big brother. He's very protective of his baby brother and sister, and loves to give them hugs and get them their toys. It's not all roses, mind you. Besides the fact that for a year he has been 2 years old (I know, I know. Of course!), he has also put us through the ringer with some health scares. I remember so clearly the long day when I had to sit with him in the hospital while nurses and doctors fussed over him, an IV sticking out of his tiny arm. He was so little and pale. I wanted so badly to scoop him up and take all his pain away. My husband and I poured out a sea of desperate prayers in those days for answers and healing. We thank God every day that his health improved and he's back to his button-pushing, heart-melting ways.
It's hard to believe that in 3 short years our little man has become a person that I cannot live without. From the moment that the test showed two lines I loved him with my whole heart. I am so grateful to have him in my life every day, even though I'm pretty sure he might be personally responsible for my growing patch of white hair. I can't imagine my life or my family without him. So, as we approach his third birthday, I'll keep saying my daily prayers of thanksgiving for him, and who he is for me and for our family. Happy Birthday, little man. Mommy loves you. Always and forever.