21
Feb 12

18 years and counting

18 years ago today, I was in Scarborough Centenary Hospital, with my mum, godmother and grandmother.  I was 21 and in labour.  I wanted and needed a baby, this baby, more than I wanted or needed my next breath and after much ado (note to doctors: Labour and Delivery is NOT the place to practice your amateur stand-up comedy routines – NOBODY wants to hear them.  You are NOT funny!), Plum was born.  Perfect, calm, and beautiful.  He was calmer than I was and I was numbed by that painful-to-get but lovely to have had epidural.

I had never seen a more beautiful human being in my life and I was instantly totally and completely in love with him.  Like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes that day.  There was none of the nervousness or awkwardness that sometimes follows a first meeting or plagues a new mother.  I held him, nursed him and carried him with the self-assured knowledge that he was mine and even though we had just met, it was though he had been with me always.  The practical stuff I still needed to learn, so my mom did much of his first bath in the sink, but I was a quick study.

On the day you were born, the world grew by one...

He became my world, my everything, the reason I cared about life and living.  I gave him four ‘first’ names – all my favourites, because I felt that if he were the only child I would have, I wanted him to have all of the names that I thought were strong and beautiful and full of meaning – the same way I felt about him.

And tonight, at 8:13pm, he’s turning 18.  Not a baby anymore, and hasn’t been for a very long time now, and still, my heart feels very sure that he is still a baby.  My beautiful, perfect baby.

But, he’s not.  He’s my 18 year-old son.  Who is struggling with adolescence and finding his place in this world.  He’s my 18 year-old son who says terrible things to me and calls me terrible names and makes terrible decisions that hurt both of us, but also who, no matter what either of us say or do to the other, my bond with is unbreakable.  There have been times when I have wished that I could sever that bond and not care anymore because it has hurt so badly and no doubt, he has that wish on at least a weekly basis, but alas, no.  He is my son, and I am his mum and that is written in stone.

One day, he’ll have children of his own and they will be perfect and he will love them beyond all logic and reason and then they will become teenagers and he won’t believe that it’s happening to him.  And he’ll come to me and tell me what horrible things my grandchild(ren) is doing and I will commiserate with him and I won’t say “see?  I told you so!”  Or, “yes, well,you were xyz”  No, I will listen to his woes and frustrations and then send him on his way to handle his teenager(s) the best he is able.  Just like I handle him now, no matter how horrible a job he thinks I’m doing, no matter how wrong, blind or crazy he believes that I am.  One day, he’ll understand, just like these last few years with him have made me understand and appreciate my parents and all they went through with and did for me during my tumultuous teenage years (and, well all they still do for me, at my current ripe old age).

So, Happy 18th Birthday Plum.  I hope this year brings you love, health, happiness, direction and success in whatever paths you choose to follow.

“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.”

Robert Munsch

03
Jan 12

It’s five against one around here – but I am winning!

17, 7, 5, 3 and 19 months. Those the ages of my children. The first four are boys, the baby is a girl. And no, we weren’t ‘trying’ for a girl. We actually fully expected another boy and were totally floored when Miranda appeared, in all of her girly perfection. It took us eons to actually process that we had a daughter, a girl that we were now completely reasonable for – for some reason that fact was scarier to me the same fact for my sons.

Anywho – totally not the point of this post. Focus Honey B. So. 5 against 1. My three middle children fight, play and fight some more with the dedication and ferocity of kamikaze pilots. My teenager is in the throes of hormonal hell, and takes me on a regular hellish emotional rollercoaster ride, with moods and attitudes changing and shifting more rapidly than an eye can blink.

Right now, 7 is at McDonalds, having a play date. 5,3, and 19 months are napping. That naps are happening is winning in and of itself. Anyone with children has a much deeper appreciation for naps. It’s a beautiful and peaceful time in the Badger house. Until I remember that I have some issues to address with 17. To be truthful, I haven’t forgotten for a second, I can just think of a hundred things I would rather be doing that dealing with teenage drama and temper tantrums. Like what, You ask?. Well, at this moment, I do believe that I would rather swim with the alli-gators in the Bayou (don’t you just LOVE that Swamp People show?) than deal with 17 right now. But, seeing as he in only a staircase away from where I am currently sitting and those alli-gators are far, far away from here, I will choose to deal with the teenager. Nobody ever said being a mom would be easy. And it’s a good thing that nobody promised that it would make me popular either. Time to go and have a little chat with T-Buddy. Wish me luck :)


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