Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Way Back When You Were Born

Tomorrow is Louisa's birthday, which means it's time to tell her birth story (according to the long-standing tradition begun on Bella's birthday all of two months ago, in these pages). But before I do, some thoughts on memories of today.

Today is the tenth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. I remember that time, a decade ago, very clearly. With a ten-week-old baby keeping me up and keeping me down (I was in the throes of breastfeeding mayhem right then), I had nary a moment to read the newspaper, electronically or otherwise. When I finally got it together to call a La Leche League leader for help and she told me that the next meeting was in April, I responded with frustration, "but that's months away!" To which she replied: "No, it's just over a week." I literally had no idea what day it was. (That winter was the only time in my life that I watched, baby on boob, an entire season of American Idol: an obvious sign of my compromised mental state. Ruben won, to remind you).

My head was comfortably in the sand, and whenever I heard mention of the war, I would look at my tiny baby's face and just think: peace.

Becoming a parent can unsettle your relationship with world events, with your spouse, with your friends, and with yourself. Forever after, time is measured in the ages of your kids. I've been known to forget how old I am (seriously), but I could never forget how old they are.

Two years ago today, I woke up in the morning, put on a maternity frock and makeup, adjusted my daughters' hair and dresses, and set out for nephew's bar mitzvah across state lines. It was one day before my due date, and for months there had been speculation in my family about whether I would make it to the simcha. I made it, all right, even though I knew even before I left my apartment that morning that I was in early labor. However, I missed the desserts.

To read the rest of the story of how life began for our littlest, who will turn two tomorrow, click here. (The story was originally published in The Journal of Perinatal Education, Fall 2011, Volume 20 Number 4. If you have comments, please put them here, not on Scribd. Thanks.)

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