...And in the air, the fireflies, our only light in paradise. We'll show the world that they were wrong, and teach them all to sing along; singing Amen I, I'm alive. Amen I, I'm alive...

- Nickelback, If Everyone Cared

For All The Right Reasons Album

And I'm singing Aaa-ayyy-men, I'm alive!

William Leonidas November 12th, 2009
My only regret is that I cried so many tears while I waited for you.

"...I'll try ~ but it's so hard to believe. I'll try ~ but I can't see what you see. I'll try and try to understand the distance between the love I feel ~ the thing I fear ~ and every single dream. I can finally see it. Now I have to believe all those precious stories. All the world is made of faith ~ and trust ~ and pixie dust. So I'll try ~ because I finally believe. I'll try ~ because I can see what you see. I'll try, I'll try ~ to fly..."

Jonatha Brooke "I'll try"

Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you..." Jeremiah 1:4-5

For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14

Monday March 5th, 2010

So Why Stinkerie?

It's simple, really. It's the first thing I whispered against my newborn little Dumpling's temple as I held him alone for that very first time. "There's my Little Stinkerie." And all was right with the world as I brushed my lips across his delicate dewy soft newborn-pink skin and sniffed at his sparse smattering of downy soft hair. Corny and sappy, huh? I can't help it when describing my new Little Puppy. But don't get used to it - I have been told I am "irreverent."

Anyway, it just came out and he's been Stinkerie ever since. As well as Stink Pie, Stink Pot, Stinkey Pete, Little Stinks, Stinks, Puppy, Ducky, Baby, Baby Head, Baby Head Jenkins, Jack, Jack-Jack, Jackie Boy, Jax, Snork, Snorkis, Snorkle, Billy Boy, Billy Bob, Bobby Sue, Billy-Joe-Jim-Bob, Will, Willie, Willister, and the name given by my mentor turned friend Beth - Snake. When I write to her I call him either The Snakester or Slither! And of course, Dumpling, because he is my Little Dumpling - warm and soft and comforting. It's alright to combine comfort food with baby names, right? Have you ever watched the movie Where the Heart Is? If you have, you'll know why I mention this in my defense!

Long story short, you're likely to encounter any one or more of these names in a single post. Because I can. It's my blog!

Something to Consider

Bad decisions make good stories.

Something to Think About

With any pregnancy, there are concerns. With any child, there are worries. When you have a diagnosis of Down syndrome, you know what to worry about. You know what to look for. You have a plan of action. With your typical child, there is no limit to the things that can 'go wrong' or 'happen.' There's no place to focus your worry and concerns. 'IT' will always be out there, waiting. You'll always be on guard. Even when the child is 55 and has grandchildren. With Down syndrome we have a battle plan. With Down syndrome, there is a finite number of things that can go awry. With a typical child, there's isn't. It's a crap shoot. I'm sticking with the Ds and taking the other two back to the hospital for a refund.

Head Above Water

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nine Years Ago Today

Nine years ago today, the full weight of being a parent fell down upon me with a deafening force that created a vacuum that tried to suck me and everything that I loved in with it. One single phone call held the key to my undoing. It was Tuesday morning, well before 8 am, so the ringing phone meant it was either a wrong number or it was important. Oh, for the former.

The Beloved: Are you up? Are you awake? Turn on the news!
Me: Why? What's going on?
TB: Someone crashed a jet into one of the Twin Towers! There are rumors that it was deliberate. That it was a terrorist attack.
Me: Silence.

You know that sudden up-swell of emotion that takes you by surprise? The sudden noisy rush of air out of your mouth and nose like some one's stepped on your middle, and it feels like the air might even rush out of your eyes, spraying in it's wake a shower of the tears that are suddenly, yet unbidden, inexplicably, and plentifully just there? I feel it again now, so many years later, the feeling of needing to suppress, to contain against expansion, an outcry of anguish, only slightly less so than on that morning nine years ago. The mind numbing slap of the realization that my beloved country had been attacked. An act of war. Against us. The Girlie had crept into our bed, as always, when her Daddy left for work. Either that or as he'd often done when she was still little and not yet ten yards of arms and long legs, he'd scooped up her small sleeping self and deposited her there into the warmth he'd recently vacated. Either way, she was there, curled into my side, and I snuggled her sleeping little body closer to me, while scenes from the old black and white movie "May Day!" played out in my head. How would I protect her?

TB: Tracy? Are you there?
Me: Yeah. I'm here.
TB: Are you okay?
Me: No.
TB: You're okay. You're safe there.
Me: What about ******?
TB: She's there with you, in bed?
Me: Yes. She's right here.
TB: She'll be okay. Just keep her with you. You'll be okay way out there.
Me: Okay
TB: Tracy? Don't go anywhere today. Stay home. If you do have to go out, don't go to where there are any crowds. People are going to be coming unglued. Just stay home if you can.

We hung up with I Love You's and Miss You's. I don't remember how long I lay there terrified for my daughter. It could have been a few minutes. It could have been twenty. I don't think it was that long. I left my sleeping treasure safe in bed and turned on the news in the living room. I watched the footage of American Airlines Flight 11 plunge into the North Tower. About fifteen minutes later I saw the second jet, United Airlines Flight 175, plunge into the South Tower. I saw people leap to their certain deaths from the burning crumbling, buildings. I saw both towers come down. Watched repeatedly as the news reels played out. Repeated. Over and over again. And repeated over again. And the footage of American Airlines flight 77 that had crashed into The Pentagon. The news that United Airlines Flight 93 had gone down over Pennsylvania, on it's way to The White House. There were many, many calls back and forth between The Beloved and I, as I stood transfixed for hours in front of the television in horror just like millions of other Americans. Millions of other people. Millions of other souls. And I wept.

There is no stunning conclusion to this post. Only the tragedy that remains. The lingering terror and consuming need to protect our then, only child. We were right smack dab in the middle of the umpteenth course of fertility treatment trying to conceive The Middle Little. I wanted to stop. How could we protect our daughter and a baby in times of war? I guess it was an act of defiance that we persisted. Some sort of private tribute to the triumph of human spirit when that vacuum finally closed. We finally conceived three months later in December, and I delivered the news to The Beloved on his birthday in January, on the first ever snow trip for The Girlie to Big Bear. The Middle Little will be 8 years old in three days. A September birth seemed fitting for the baby who almost wasn't. I wanted him born on my Mother's birthday, September 5th, but the doctor said no, it would be too soon. Okay then, how about September 11th, then? "Tracy. You've tried to control everything in this pregnancy. We're already taking him two weeks early. Be content with that and let me be the doctor." Okay then. September 14th it is. It was her decision to take him two weeks early, for both our sakes. Was three days earlier really that relevant?

As dawn broke over our sleeping house this morning, I was, as so often is the case, awake. Jack is asleep on the couch with a newly full belly. The Littles are snug in their beds, and I can hear The Beloved's soft snore over the baby monitor. Yes, Jack is still in our room in his cradle, even though The Beloved lowered the mattress in the crib last weekend. The crib. Not yet his crib, as he has yet to spend a night in it. He will be ten months old tomorrow. I drug a chair out to the front of the house to hang our Union Jack, Old Glory, My Beloved flag, as the sun winked into daybreak. I climbed down off of the chair and crossed my right hand over my heart and said the Pledge of Allegiance to my flag while standing barefooted on cold cement. In my nightgown. Because I can. I am an American.

There are posts between this and the last that I am still polishing. I get ideas and draft them and save them for when I have a minute in the early pre-dawn sleepless hours to work on them. Teaser: sharp little pearly white eruptions. There are at least five on the drawing board, so be sure not to miss a single riveting (ahem!) post!

1 comment:

Becca said...

Wow, great post. That was definitely a day I'll never forget, living in downtown DC at the time.