Five years ago.
Right now, while everyone else naps, Aaron is eating a raw hot dog, twirling. Getting dizzy.
Giggling at the sensation. Grabbing a quick squeeze (you've never been hugged til you've been hugged by my handsome and his raw hot dog scent..the juxtaposition of awwwww and gag is truly unique).
Unique. My eldest. My baby. It is not a greater love (McKye and Levi hold equally impossibly, indescribable places in my ever-expanding mother heart) but it is its own unique love.
He was my first. The first tenant of my womb. The first to kick its walls, the beginning of my new life of children's various and constant clammerings--beginning with embryonic nudges swelling to full on "mommy!"s "now!"s and "me!"s.
The first squishy human to hold my heart.
I wish I'd started this blog five years ago, so all the emotions and experiences would be fresh. But now I just have to be content backtracking and remembering. My apologies to those who already know "my tales".
The summer Aaron was born we lived in Memphis, Tenessee. Well, I did until a month before I was due, when me and my swollen belly waddled onto a plan back to Canada "land of the free[healthcare]" where i waited. Walked and waited and sweat. Everyone asked me how I survived Memphis' heat?
The answer: air-conditioning!!! Which Canada so often lacks. So I sat in front of fans, waiting.
In the end my waiting was cut short, by a week. The problem with having your husband in a different country when you're pregnant is that babies don't like schedules.
So me, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law Alli and her friend Caroline (apparently the more the merrier when yo have a "girl power" birth) were off to the hospital.
I have learned that all women love to tell their labor stories (its like a compulsion written in our DNA) and if one women starts, every female in the room follows, like we simply can't help ourselves.
So I'll skip to the good part. They handed me my son. My perfect son. (The nurses actually pointed out to the student nurses to take note of his perfectly shaped head,that they would be rare.)
Perfection is a strong word, but it is accurate.
A perfect moment. A flawless, uncomplicated bond. A relationship not yet tainted by anything lesser than love itself.
I recently read a passage that made my mind wander back to that moment:
"Your son, " she said.
"My son, " I answered, dumbfounded, taking him in my arms.
Just as there is no warning for childbirth, there is no preparation for the sight of a first child. I studied his face, fingers, the folds in his boneless little legs, the whorls of his ears the tiny nipples on his chest. I held my breath as he sighed, laughed when he yawned, wondered at his grasp on my thumb. I could not get my fill of looking.
There should be a song for women to sing at this moment, or a prayer to recite. But perhaps there is none because there are no words strong enough to name that moment. Like every mother since the first mother, I was overcome and bereft, exalted and ravaged. I had crossed over from girlhood. I beheld myself as an infant in my mothers arms and caught a glimpse of my own death. I wept without knowing whether I rejoiced or mourned. My mothers and their mothers were with me as I held my baby...
Why did I not know that birth is the pinnacle where women discover the couraget to become mothers? (The Red Tent by Anita Diamant)
Aaron helped me "discover" my motherhood in so many ways.
The two years when it was just him and me. All day, everyday. My little buddy. My whole world.
And now he's been in our world for five years!
Same perfect smile.
Same gorgeous eyes.
Same infectious laugh.
Same intense hugs.
Same amazing way of making people love him, without any words.
Just like he did 5 years ago, a baby placed in my arms.
No words necessary.
I made this video back when Aaron was only 3 months old...If anyone knows how to change the thumbnail on this...seriously all the sweet, tender pictures of my Aaron, and somehow youtube decides the picture of Tanner wearing a nursing pillow on his head is the winner?
PS Ben did make it that night, and to both McKye and Levi's births (well he almost missed Levi's parking the car!)