Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Birthday! Love, Mama

Ten years ago, today, I was in labor getting ready to give birth to my girl. I was a week past due and so ready to not be a blimp anymore. Even more ready to have the swelling in my feet go down enough to wear socks again. I was anxious with anticipation to see my girl sleeping in her beautifully put-together room with the Puffalumps I had searched for high and low until I got her all four. What I wasn't ready for, was a surprise full-anesthesia C-Section and being in so much pain in the recovery room that I could barely focus on her little face. We were both a little bleary eyed when we met. My girl from her arrival into the harsh world of lights when she had decided that she was simply not ready to leave her warm squishy place just yet; and I from loads of pain meds thanks to one of the doctors passing through the recovery room and assuring the nurses, "Yes, this patient can definitely handle more morphine."

She was a blessing before she even arrived--and completely my girl. I knew she was a girl before the amnio confirmed it. She came to me in a dream, and together we picked out her name. She would have the girls version of my grandfather's name, and her middle name would be the same as my mother's. It flowed beautifully together, and from the moment I woke up from that dream, I knew that my girl WAS Josephine (Josie) Rose. It fit her completely, and no matter how people tried to get me to change my mind, I wouldn't budge. 10 years ago, nobody named their daughter Josephine! It was old fashioned. And as my father put it, "the name of old ladies dressed in black waiting to die". I didn't care. She was (and is) Josie to me. And once she arrived, the visual image that they had previously attached to the name was fore
ver changed to a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, light-filled little girl.

In the hospital, they had to bring her in to sleep in my room because she would cry with such loudness and intensity that she woke up every other infant in the nursery. With me, she hushed right up and cooed. My girl from the first. She wasn't like other children anyway. She could hold her head up the very first day. She slept through the night from the first night she was home, and every night thereafter. She didn't smile early, but she did give me her first hug at 6 weeks old when she wound her little arms around my neck and squeezed. It is one of the most precious Mama-Moments I have, that hug.

She went through all the first-born-mama-has-no-idea-how-to-be-a-mama-yet growing pains with me. Like the awkward first few times out of the house for anything, when you haven't figured out how to cart and balance and schedule everything that is required with an infant. She went through two years of un-diagnosed post-partum depression with me and would give me hugs whenever she saw Mommy crying which, in retrospect, saved my life more than once. She taught me how to think about another person first. She broke my heart only so she could expand it and knit it back together so that it would grow big enough to hold all the love I would fe
el for her.

She was a happy, laughing child who very rarely fussed or cried. She almost never got sick and she was smart and strong and amazing. As she got older she talked early, walked early and climbed absolutely everything. She was also a biter and would teethe on every window sill in the house. She would crack us up repeating "WaaaaZuuuuupppp" from the Budweiser commercials. And she would shout "TONY" every time the Soprano's came on, and then she would tell us how Tony used bad language. She could turn on every piece in the AV system and play herself a movie before she was 2.

It wasn't all miracles and cuteness though. For those of you who have read my prior posts about parenting, some of which included stories of Vaseline Stalactites, and turning into a stunt-person to avoid tripping over them, and the fatality of remote controls during the flushing process... Yes, all of these things I learned about while parenting my girl Josie. My amazing girl who loved to dress up like a princess and then wanted to go play soccer in her princess dress--daily. She taught me about not leaving scissors within reach when cleaning up from a home-haircut. I learned quickly how to re-start my heart. This is useful for times when I would come in the room to find (water) tea being poured clumsily from her new tea set... directly in front of the TV... while the TV is on. Or when I would walk in the room to find her using the Sit-n-Spin toy as a step-ladder to climb up the outside of her crib like a mini-Spiderman-girl.

She also reignited my imagination and is a consummate sales-person. She could get her father and I to sit in the backyard while she would re-marry us simply so she could throw rose petals all over us and the yard. She was the reason that we would have blanket tents up for three days in the dining room and she could get every family member in attendance to not only play in there, but sleep on the floor in the tent for at least one night. She named her all-black-stuffed-dog Spot, because when the dog was on the beige carpet he looked like a big spot on the floor. What 3 year old comes up with that kind of reasoning?

I spent 5 years as a full-time student of
Mamadom at the University of Josephine. She was the best teacher ever. Thank you Josie for being patient with me and teaching me more than I ever knew I could learn. I love you more than words can possibly describe and I am so proud of the amazing person that you are. You are beautiful from the inside out. I'm still not sure, after 10 years, what exactly I did to deserve you, but it must have been fantastic!

Happy 10th Birthday!
Love, Mama.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! She's such a cutie.

Angie Atkinson said...

Oh my gosh, your post made me cry like a baby lol! My oldest (son) just turned eleven in July, and I can completely identify with you. My middle son just turned five last month,and my baby girl will be a year old in a couple of weeks. It's almost devastating how quickly they grow up, but I think it's wonderful that we as parents have the gift of raising these amazing little people. Happy birthday to your beautiful girl, and happy mom-a-versary. Hugs! :)

The Muse said...

I extend my wishes...and hope she grows into a fine young woman...
Great job "MOM" :)

Anonymous said...

hi mommy!!!

I love you sooooo much and it means the world to me that you would do something so sweet and touching.Also this made my day and my neck is still pretty strong.Next from this blogposting for today makes me want to feel the love of how it feels to have a child that is growing up.

your peanutty

Lily said...

Wonderful post. Children are such blessings! BTW, love the comment just before mine!

Lily said...

(BTW, I meant the comment from your daughter-- I didn't realize your comments were moderated, so it is distinctly possible that the comment just above mine might not be the one I meant. Ooops)