Sunday, 10 February 2008

just begun

So says AA Milne, but at one Wil is so much more than just begun.

D and I were reminiscing about Amy's first birthday today. How proud we had been that we'd managed to keep her alive. We had no idea of what was coming, of how much longer we'd struggle to get on top of the parenting gig, of how much more she would grow and develop.

Babes in the wood we were.

So it is a great luxury to get the experience of Wil with a little bit of learning under our belts. For the unimportant stuff to have already melted away, for the really hard stuff to have already been burned away. It feels very much like when there's just Wil and me, there's just Wil and me.

I love him so very much.

There was a long time there where I didn't think I could face a second child, when I didn't think I was strong enough to endure another physically exhausting pregnancy, another sleepless infancy, another loss of my self. For a while D and I would talk about it in alternating frustrated and mournful tones. Gradually the fear grew less and the excitement grew more.

And then one day, as I was standing at the kitchen bench engaged in some mindless domestic task I heard the key in the lock. I looked up to see D stroll in and then came Amy. And then I realised I was still looking at the door. And in my mind I knew I was waiting for the other one. The one that wasn't here yet, but the one I knew was coming.

I think back to that moment often. I remember it, the feeling of it even, as vividly as any event that happened today. In just a little flash of a moment, a moment that makes no sense in the real world I inhabit, I knew there would be another child.

That's really weird isn't it?

At the time I felt it was a highly unusual experience, not like anything else I'd ever felt and looking back now it's like there was a little hand reaching across time to me. Leaving a little imprint, spurring me on to get over my fear and promising that everything would be alright.

And he's kept that promise. No matter what is going on with him, I pretty much always feel like everything will be alright.

So I celebrate his first birthday, not just happy he's made it this far.

Happy for his straightforwardness.

Happy for his curiosity.

Happy for his independence.

Just happy.

Happy birthday my boy.

PS. We'd all be much better off if you'd fast track learning about not hitting your head. I'm sure you'll learn eventually but I'm concerned about those diminishing brain cells honey.

25 comments:

kate said...

Happy Birthday!

For all of those reasons, I think parents deserve champagne for kid's birthdays. For the not killing them, and for managing to get past all the mundane 'keeping them alive' stuff to actually enjoying them.

Now I must pick up my baby/toddler (it depends on the day, yesterday he walked, today he says that's not on) from childcare.

kate said...

Oh, and on the waiting for someone else, there was a similar story on that Mormons doco that's been on the telly lately. They were talking in Mormon terminology, but the father said his wife had (after 7 kids I think) felt that there was another soul waiting for them. The thought about it, and prayed about it, for ages, weighed up all the risks (she'd had very difficult pregnancies) and decided to go ahead. Unfortunately she died, and the husband/father still doesn't know whether, given what he knows now, he could make the same decision while believing that God had wanted them to have the baby.

It was an interesting discussion. Not one I'm ever likely to face, what with the atheism, but an interesting internal debate nonetheless.

Also, on a lighter note, your backyard is looking idyllic.

leslie said...

i can't believe he's one already! and soooooo impossibly handsome : )

Amanda Edwards said...

I totally get that feeling you had, about waiting for the next one before they were there. Sometimes I do that at the shops when I look around me to make sure we have everyone with us and I find myself looking for the third one (who isn't here or even planned for). Maybe I will be able to handle three when the other two are older. I'm so glad that you are enjoying Wil now. A few weeks ago he seemed a long way from enjoyable!

sugarlemon said...

Happy Birthday Wil! Love the Lara pants!

I've had 'that moment' too. It came not long after my second was born, so I'm pretty sure there will be a third, even though head and heart don't always agree on that.

kirsten said...

great post, sooz! love it all. and a huge happy birthday to wil - rock on, boy!

mixtapezine said...

happy birthday sweet boy
beautiful post :)
justine

Kez said...

Happy birthday Wil!

Di said...

What an amazing moment. A memory and feeling to hold tight. Congratulations and happy birthday Wil!

shula said...

Not so weird to me.

Though I'm pretty weird, myself.

Nice to know that things like that happen to Other People.

Ali said...

Happy Birthday Wil!

It took me a long time to come to terms with having number 2 - I wanted to and was terrified to in equal measure. But like you, reality somehow turned out better than I expected. Different child or different mother? Who knows.

Pixie said...

ah, not weird, beautiful. It's been fun watching Wil. Happy birthday little one, and pop the champagne mum and dad.

craftydabbler said...

I can't believe he is already one! Congratulations to him and to you. His little face is so mature looking in that pic with Amy.

Lindsay said...

Happy 1st birthday!

sueeeus said...

A beautiful post and a beautiful boy! I loved the part about looking for 'the other one' -- it gave me goosebumps. :)

Ang said...

Beautiful post Sooz. I remember you telling me the story of waiting for 'someone else' and it stayed with me. Unless most of your correspondents, my experience of this is the opposite: much as I would have liked to have had more than one child, when I look at my family, nothing to me is 'missing'. For this reason I know I've might the right decision to quit while I'm ahead.
Anyway, belated birthday greetings to Wil and love and bravo to you, Dave and Amy xxx

Ang said...

Beautiful post Sooz. I remember you telling me the story of waiting for 'someone else' and it stayed with me. Unless most of your correspondents, my experience of this is the opposite: much as I would have liked to have had more than one child, when I look at my family, nothing to me is 'missing'. For this reason I know I've might the right decision to quit while I'm ahead.
Anyway, belated birthday greetings to Wil and love and bravo to you, Dave and Amy xxx

Janet said...

wow, what a beautiful strange moment to have.

Happy birthday to Wil!

rebecca said...

Happy Birthday to your dear boy Wil.

This post has brought me so much comfort and hope for the future, that one day everything will be alright - thank you.

Sarah said...

I have been reading your posts for quite a while, but this is the first time i feel compelled to comment.... I love that story!! I had a very similar experience. I had 2 children. A girl and a boy. We only planned for 2 children. I should have felt complete. But one day when I was driving with the kids, I looked back at the both of them in the rear view mirror and had a moment of panic, like I had forgotten someone or left someone behind somewhere. I had to pull over for a minute and get myself together. I realized I was looking for the baby that I didn't yet know that I wanted.

We had him about 12 months later. And now when I look at my kids I feel so complete.

Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. And happy birthday to your little guy!

shea said...

Oh my that was so beautifully put - i smiled the entire time i read that post, however, your blog always puts a smile on my face.

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