Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Birth Day, VII

Seven years ago today, I gave birth to a baby girl.

That sentence alone is the most surreal thing to write and read.

I am smack-dab in the middle of travel-hockey/another-snow-day-on-tap/beginning-swim-training-for-a-triathlon/winter-that-won't stop hell.  My bandwidth is down to the width of a piece of dental floss, and I have a feeling when the Nor-easter comes tomorrow I will lock myself in a closet with a bottle of something and my cell phone and a box of tissue.  My day breaks and sets with yelling -- and for the record, seldom my own anymore.  (Pats self on back.)  But the boy, oh the boy, he's a loud kinetic force who has spent too much time this winter in the car seat and in the cold hockey rink and he's ready to blow.  That or he has a small hearing loss and is freebasing caffeine when my back is turned.

And I joke (through tears) that my hands are full, too full, and god help us all when the small one starts travel sports too because I will remember this crazy as the good ol' relaxin' days of yore.

And there -- this time of year especially, when I'm ramping up the annual fundraising project and dealing with my family's many seasonal maladies -- is something tugging gently, and then more insistently at my pant leg.  I try and shoo it off, make a sweeping motion to show that I'm knee-deep in dinner prep, or getting two separate breakfasts, or -- crap, please leave me be -- driving in some snow/ice debacle, but it persists.

And sometimes it takes the leg-pulling to scream at me through the din and remind me:

I'm here.  But I'm not.  Remember me?

If she had been born healthy as I (stupidly) assumed all babies were, she would be seven today.



I didn't know them as babies except for one, but for some reason I now know a slew of children in the first grade at Bella's school.  New kids in the neighborhood, younger siblings, kids of newfound friends.  One of these just celebrated a birthday a week or so ago, and I didn't know her then but I do now and I find myself staring at her in wonder.  Seven-year-olds don't bother me, but babies still do.  They are all still mystical, lucky, elusive creatures that make me catch my breath and tremble.  I don't understand them, I don't understand the allure in them, I don't get how so many of them are here.


The family scorecard has altered only slightly:  Buddy is still here, the geriatric cats finally both dialed in their ninth (or, in Kirby's case, 49th) life.  We have a new rescue cat name Violet; she's two, but acts as though she's two months and still learning how to play.  Though she loves us all (well, except Buddy still figuring him out) she plays rough and we're all playing mama cat and telling her no.  She is the current baby.

Bella is beautiful, Bella is overdramatic, Bella will someday make a great lawyer the way she argues ev-er-y-thing.  She asked this morning if I was buying flowers, I said yes, and she smiled and showed me that she was wearing her blue Maddy bracelet.  She is at once a selfish, impatient, loving, and fantastic big sister.

I did buy flowers as I do annually, and I'll light a candle at some point between appointments and dinner-prep and studying for the science quiz on salmon and Valentines.  I'll quietly congratulate myself for carrying and delivering three babies, those beautiful flowers are there in part for me, too.  But mostly I'll remember the delicate sweet baby that was mine for ever so briefly.

She was here.

I love you Maddy, and miss you awfully.


Side note:  I switched web browsers (long story) and while it corrected many of the problems I was having, and my smile was widening, I clicked over to Feedly . . . and it had erased all of my feeds.  All of them.  I crawled through the FAQs and help sections and sent them multiple emails (all met with "Welcome to Feedly!" auto-bot-bullshit), and . . . nothing.   And I was so sad and depressed I couldn't bring myself to even click in there and see the empty page.  But I miss keeping up with even the annual posts of my old friends:  If you still blog, if you were on my radar, could you please comment here if only to say "I'm still writing!" and I'll add you.  I may not comment often, but I'll try and check in and read.  I promise.


sharah said...

I'm still here, despite this winter's apparent attempt to drive me out of my mind. Glad to hear from you again.

March is for daffodils said...

This is a beautiful post, a lovely glimpse into your family seven years on and a glimpse into the future for me. My family is like yours: an older sister, a dead baby girl in the middle, a little brother. I feel like I will always be in awe of the boy-ness of my boy, even if he turns out to be the least boy-like boy there is, because of that sister of his, the one who is here but not; her goneness makes his hereness so much more here; his hereness makes her goneness so much more gone - and yet, she is still here and I marvel that I have had three babies and she is one of them, no matter that so few people see her or feel her or know I'm the mother of three. I hope you have as peaceful a day as possible. Thank you for sharing your Maddy.

Peg said...

Thinking of you and your family today. Lovely, lovely post. Glad to get an update on the family.

Sharon said...

Just stopping in to say it's good to hear from you again. I "moved" you to Feedly when everything switched just in case and here you are! All the best to you and your lovely family ~

Janis MK said...

Thinking of you and Maddy today, and the days after. Glad to see you post, good to "catch up" on your family. I can almost see and hear everything so vividly...

And I have enough of winter already.

loribeth said...

I switched to Bloglovin on the demise of Google Reader... so far, so good (overall). I was so happy to see a post from you pop up today. :) Happy birthday to Maddy! And big hugs to you.

alwaysmy3boys said...

Oh my. 7 years already. It feels far more recent that I first began reading your story, Maddy's story.

Happy birthday Maddy.

Brianna said...

Happy Birthday, Maddy.

Sue said...

Happy birthday to Maddy, and it's nice to hear from you again.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Sending good thoughts as you remember.

E said...

Love catching your posts...even, or maybe especially, when they bring tears to my eyes. Happy Birthday, Maddy.

I'm blogging in slo-mo, but still blogging nonetheless at askyforblue.

Alexa said...

I am still here. Cannot believe it has been seven years, but then cannot believe it has been six for me either. Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

Tash, never really blogged, and I forget how I found you, but I think of you every mid-February. No longer living in the Philly area, but you bring those days to mind. Dayna

Val said...

I still occasionally throw something up on my ancient creaking blog (matches my ancient creaking carcass ;-) - some minor instinct prompted me to click today, & here I find an update from you!
Best wishes, Val

Dr. Grumbles said...

I am a psychologist and a blogger ( I am currently conducting a survey of bloggers who post about pregnancy, fertility, adoption, pregnancy loss, and parenting. I would like to extend an invitation for you to complete the brief survey found here:
(I am very sorry to leave this in a comment like a spammer!)
Thank you so much!
Dr. Grumbles

Heather said...

Hi there! I'm Heather and I wanted to know if you would be able to answer a quick question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)

c. said...

I was on your radar once, and Maddy on mine. 7 years. Absolutely hard to believe. I am no longer blogging, but I will always, always remember. Much love. xo.

moplans said...

Much love xoxo

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you today, Tash. XO

alwaysmy3boys said...

I am late, I'm sorry. Happy birthday Maddy. Eight years is a long time to
be missed.