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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Reflections on your childhood

I guess between it being Mother's Day, (which is the day I started this blog) and my "Jubilee" year, I have been feeling retrospective. 
There has been nothing in my life like being a Mother.
I've not been perfect, and downright awful at times, but I grew up with you three
and we all survived.
I remember carrying each one of you.

Kristen

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I had Braxton-Hicks so bad, I thought I was in labor several times before labor actually began.  When they finally kept me I remember calling Mom and Dad.  They just knew that because you were the first, it would take forever and decided to go on to the high school football game that night.  HA!  You fooled them and came into the world just 6 hours after I was admitted.  Your Gram Martie was my L&D coach, because we were not sure that Mike would be there for delivery.  In the LaMaze classes there was this film they had us watch and when the actual delivery took place there was this lovely background music.  Yeah, I asked Martie where the music was after you delivered.  We got gypped!
You were the most beautiful baby in the world.  Even though Mike insisted on calling you Yoda or face.
I wanted to breast feed and really tried, but had NO support family wise.  Hearing negative comments while I tried made me tense which in turn made you tense!  Afraid that I was starving you to death, I gave up and
bottle fed.  Never tried to breast feed after that!
Lord, it is a wonder any of you survived me being your mother, I was so young and had no clue what I was doing.  If it was not for Kathy and Dr. Spock, you may not have made it.  We lived on a bayou of Vernon Lake in Vernon Parish in Louisiana.  We rented a single wide trailer whose doors would not lock properly and whose furnace had a raccoon living in it, but not inside the house.  Mice, OMG, they would come out on the kitchen cabinets with me working in there and hope I dropped something.  I never found bites on you or any evidence that they were anywhere but in the kitchen or living room.   I remember working at Wal-Mart in Leesville, when it was still a fairly new company, not quite the major chain it is now.  I would get off at 11 or 12 at night and Mike would have to pick me up from work, since we only had one vehicle.  He would leave you asleep in that trailer, drive the 10 miles or so into town and pick me up.  I would be livid!  I should have known right then, but no, I was still stupid 'in love' then.  Even Kathy would tell him, wake me up, I'll watch her.  Finally he got a clue and would get Kathy to come sit with you.  I remember for your 2nd Christmas, when you were just 16 months old you got one of these:


That puppy was all the rage, and one of the "IT" toys that year.
Here are some other photos from your childhood:

I remember making the decision to let you go back home with your grandparents, from Germany, until your brother was born, because it was easier for me.  It turned out to be a two year deal that I regret.
I remember the stitches you had to get because your brother hit you in the head with his backpack that had an unopened Coke can in it.
I remember the broken arm and elbow from your friends sleepover and a jogging trampoline.
I remember the sleepover you had that all of your friends got sick after pizza and coke floats.
I remember how freaked out I was when I got the call.
I remember when you made the cheerleading squad, and how excited you were.  You never lost the excitement, always had SPIRIT, and were the best cheerleader before or since.
I remember trying to encourage you to date other boys, but you were "in love".
I remember being there when Carter was born.
I remember telling you that I would pay for your divorce, because I could see the unhappiness all over you. 
I remember a two year fight we had that resulted in me not meeting Rosie until she was 16 months old.
AND I remember vowing to myself that pride was not worth a relationship with my daughter and her children.
I am proud of the woman, and mom you are, despite having me for a Mom. :)

Michael

Truly you of the dual citizenship, conceived in Louisiana, born in Germany.  The only planned child and the one that could best withstand being the middle child.  I know you think that you always came last place with me.  But you do not and you never have.  I remember worrying that housing would not come through for us in time to go to Germany before it would be too late in my pregnancy.  Flying to Germany with you in the belly and your sister in my arms.  Getting to a foreign country, not knowing the language, but appreciating it's beauty.  We arrived in Frankfurt Mother's Day, 1984.  I remember that our car finally arrived about a month after we did, Mike having been there since February. 
I remember it being cold and rainy in July 1984, being from the South, that was NOT the natural order of things.  I also remember that I went in that morning just for a refill on prenatal vitamins, but Mike suggested that I tell them I was having contractions.  WIth you, I don't remember the Braxton Hicks so much.  So they checked me and guess what?  I was sent home to get my bag and find a babysitter for Kristen.  Back to 97th General and 2 hours after admission you were here.  OMG, the pain....this was back before the military offered epidurals and there was no choice to go out in the community.  No time even for local anesthesia, you were coming and you were coming right then.  The worst part was the sutures afterward.  I couldn't keep my butt on the delivery stretcher/bed/table.  
I remember having your passport pictures taken and your hair was so red and so thick and about an inch long and it would not lay down on your head.  I still have some of those pics BTW.  :)
I remember Mike fighting with the embassy about naming you the Second instead of Junior.  He won, obviously.
I remember being down in the basement doing laundry, and Mike coming down there.  You were in your swing, and Kristen decided, I guess, that you both were too white and she got Mike's shoe polish, that he left out, and finger painted you both with it. 


I remember that you would not burp for me, but would have projectile vomiting, but would burp just fine for Mike.  Looking back now I wonder if you just didn't tolerate the formula.
I remember thinking that you would grow out of your cute baby outfits, so we had a try clothes on and take pictures day until you had enough and spit up.


I remember your first birthday, and the clown cake I made for you.  I could be crafty when it counted.


I remember that when you got sick you got all glassy eyed, that would be the tell-tell sign, because you would not act sick, you'd be playing away.

I remember you had white coat syndrome....
I remember you telling Gram Martie, when she suggested you dig in the dirt, "That was dog dirt".
I remember you causing Kristen to get sutures in her head because another little kid from down the road told you to hit her in the head with your backpack.
I remember us taking you to a monster truck show.


I remember you telling me that I didn't raise you, you raised yourself.
And I remember you saying you wanted to be Jewish, and I told you that was fine, you could go to synagogue on Saturday, and to church with the rest of us on Sunday.  You never did go to synagogue. 
I remember going to visit you in Arizona when Anika was christened and after Maiyah was born.
I remember you turning me on to some awesome Thai food, and taking us up Mt. Lemon and how beautiful it was
I remember praying for you every single day you were deployed, and thanking God when you returned.
You have grown into a fine man and Father, in spite of having me for a Mom, and I am so proud of you


Christopher

I was not happy in my life, or marriage when I got pregnant with you, nor was I happy that I was pregnant.  Michael was only 6 months old when I got pregnant with you, and I wasn't quite to that stage of forgetting the labor and delivery.
I couldn't see having another child, and did not plan on going through with the pregnancy.  In the end though, I couldn't "murder" you, I couldn't have lived with that.  AND I thank GOD everyday, that I made the decision to have you. Not that I judge anyone for making the decision to terminate a pregnancy, it is a very personal decision.
I remember how freaking hot it was in Germany that year in August and September.  I was miserable.  
And you would think, that being my third child I would recognize the signs of labor.  But no, I went into the hospital 2 or 3 times with Braxton-Hicks so bad, that I just knew I was in labor.
I would take the stairs up to the 24th floor from the 17th and the elevator down to the lobby, then walk the stairs up to the 17th, hoping to encourage you to make your appearance.  But no, you did come earlier than your due date, I woke up Halloween and could feel my pelvic bones jiggling.  Seriously, jiggling!
I had an appointment that day, and mentioned this to them.  They promptly sent me to L&D, where I was kept and you were born 3 hours later.  
I remember bringing you home and Michael promptly punching you in the face because Mike was holding you.  Michael did get over his jealousy, he made a good big brother, even feeding you from time to time.




I remember how if I laid you down on the couch next to me, you would scooch over, from birth, until your feet could touch me.  Usually tapping my leg or my side.  
I should have known then that you would be the one most attached to my hip.
I remember you being a good baby, happy all the time.



I remember when we moved back to the states from Germany, two of you busted your eye in the same place and the last one did in the UFO on our layover in NY.  It looked like we had lined you up and punched yall all in the eye.
I remember you playing with the little boy next door to us in Ponte Vedra and catching yall in the front yard seeing who could pee the farthest.
I remember taking you and same little boy to the beach and locking my keys in the car!




I remember you playing mailman with your brother thinking that you would just help out Harold.
And, I remember the consequences for this was Mike taking y'all to the Valdosta City Jail, so you could see what happens when you break the law.
I remember taking you to Louisiana for the first time, and you eating 'steak' for breakfast, only to find out later it was Bambi.  It was not the first time you had venison, but it was certainly the most memorable time.  I am pointing out that you have loved it since then.
I remember you bonding with Aunt Creola and having an experience with Granny Billie Nell's ghost.
And telling the across the street neighbor, 'man, you are weird'.
I remember fighting with you more than I ever fought with the other two.
I remember you falling out in Target because you weren't getting your way, and embarrassing your friend to death.
I remember coming home from work to surprise you with a Cowboy's blanket for your bed, and you surprised me, skipping school, hiding in my closet.  I remember you were curious how I knew you were home, but you left the evidence all over the living room floor.  Guess you didn't have time to pick up all the toys before I got in the house.
I remember coming in on something a Mom should NEVER have to see, twice!
I remember wanting to beat the stew out of the one that caused your first broken heart.
I remember writing to you every day when you were in boot camp.
I remember praying for you every day you were deployed and thanking God when you returned safely.
I remember going to Okinawa to be there with Mayumi when Masa was born, but he just couldn't wait!
You have grown into a fine man and Father, in spite of having me for a Mom, and I am so proud of you.





I thought I would end by saying this:
You three have been the best things in my life.  
I love each of you equally, I know you don't believe it, but I do.
I love each of you unconditionally.
Thank you
for the angst, drama, craziness, laughs, broken hearts, aggravation, arguments, temper tantrums, 
and most of all
the LOVE.
 






2 comments:

Jacque said...

What a beautiful family you have. Thanks for sharing!

Our Crazy Bunch said...

Great blog Mom! You've been busy scanning pictures huh? :)

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