Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Red

Your birthday feels like a lifetime ago. Back then I was really only beginning to come into my own as a woman and as a mom. I was scared shitless to do this on my own. Since you were the fourth child my fears of 'breaking you' were replaced with the fear of doing it right, of not having someone else to fall back on when things got hairy. I had no one else to share the blame with if you didn't sleep through the night, or eat your vegetables or set the cat on fire. It was all me, you were all mine the good and the bad, and the ugly, you were my responsibility.

I didn't want to be a single mom. I knew alot of women, your Grandma included, who did it by themselves and did it well. It just didn't seem natural to me,being pregnant alone, giving birth by myself and definitely being driven home with you from the hospital by my best friend instead of my husband was a feeling of helplessness and anxiety that I can probably never explain to you. I got over that quickly and you taught me more about myself then I ever hoped to learn. You showed me the power that I never knew I had, to do this on my own. You gave me the confidence I needed to not give up. The determination to be a better role model, to be a great mom, and to prove to myself that I could do this and do it well.

My World changed the day I held your little cheesy baby body in my arms. I was so wrapped up in myself and everything that had happened during the pregnancy that your cries your presence was enough to snap be back to the reality of what I was and who needed me the most. I could whine and complain till the cows came home, but you still needed to be fed, to be held and most of all to be loved. I knew I could do that and you made it so easy to do. The circumstances surrounding your birth only led to your absolute uniqueness and not for a second did it take away from the magic of seeing and experiencing a new life come into this world.

Your birth baby boy, your existence in my life made me realize the sheer willpower that I never knew was there. You cried in the middle of the night I was it, the only one to take care of you. Your diaper needed to be changed? As much as your big sisters wanted to help, I was it, no more passing the buck, no more delegating. You were the beginning of my new normal and like it or not I had to take this new challenge on with confidence, and a "No Bitching Allowed" attitude. I learned quickly that I could complain but you could care less if I had just changed your diaper five minutes ago, or had been up all night with a sick toddler, or had to get the little girls off to school, clean, shop, shower, and lose the 40 pounds of pregnancy weight all in a span of 10 minutes, or so it seemed. You needed me, I was the most stable thing in your life. And if you realized how scary that was, you probably would have worked out some sort of bribe with the baby next to you in the hospital nursery to switch armbands so you could go home with his parents. We made it, two years, the best and worst two years of my life.

You are my last baby, my very first little redhead, my fourth child, and my reason for getting out of bed when I just wanted to get back under the covers and feel sorry for myself. You and your brother and sisters have been my constant. When things seem to be losing perspective and my world gets a little bit shaky, I step back into this life and remind myself that all of you need me, all of me. When my life took a big downward spiral when I was pregnant with you I couldn't imagine what my life would be like with another baby. Now with your sweet little smile and perfect fit into our family, I couldn't imagine what my life would be without you in it.

As you get older Nathan, and will inevitably need me less and less, know this, you can always come back to me to steady yourself, to find some perspective and always to find love.

Happy Birthday my little Red.


Mama Dawg said...

How sweet!

Have you posted your story before? The story of what happened to you? If it's in your archives, let me know cause I'd like to read it sometime.

My ex and I split when mine was 5 weeks old. So I know what it's like to raise a baby all by yourself (but not w/older kids in the pic...she's my one and only).

Tori said...

What a sweet story. I was honored to be there with you when he was born. I cant believe how much he has grown. Miss and love you guys!

Michelle said...

Oh my God look at all that red hair! Or its kind of orange isnt it? : ) Its tough but worth it, kids, singe motherhood. You are strong and I had no doubt you would come through it with flying colors. Happy Birthday Nate!!!

Carrie said...

Happy birthday Nathan! I thought his birthday was tomorrow?? His card will be late. Oops. Can't wait to see you over the holidays!

Katie said...

Sarah - Congratulations on making it the last two years. Single parenting is the toughest job ever. I can't imagine doing it with four kids. I am in awe!

Happy Birthday to your little man!

DeeMarie said...

Happy Birthday, Red. And kudos to you for managing it on your own. My sister has been a single mom for 7 years... and I know how stressful it can be at times. You're doing a great job!!

Irish Gumbo said...

Lovely, lovely post. You sound like you are busy! (grin)

Thank you also for your very kind, sweet comment on my blog! I am delighted and honored to know you have enjoyed it. I promise to keep it interesting, thank you for the eyes on the page!

Captain Dumbass said...

You are awesomesauce, mom, and that picture of Red is so sweet!

I've only been a SAHD for four months now and I don't know how you do it as a single parent. You people deserve awards. Large financial awards.

King of New York Hacks said...

Wow. Great story , great pics , you are a great person. I bow down to you.

The Stiletto Mom said...

Beautiful. Both him and the post. Good for you for being so strong.

And I love a little carrot top...he is just adorable.

Jenni said...

Sarah, this kills me. Just lovely.