Best Decision Ever.

Ummm…can we just skip over my explanation of not writing during the last 15 days? Ok. Thanks. More importantly – I couldn’t wait to write this post. 

We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout. Really we did. Swear on June and Johnny we did.  And when we made that decision it was filled with worry and anxiety. Are we doing the right thing? Yes. Are we too young? Yes. Will we make it? I sure hope so. But once we were married and living our little life in NYC – all that worry went away. We had a great first year of marriage. Lots of traveling for work and for pleasure. Lots of painting the town red. Not a care in the world. If we wanted to eat out at 2 AM, we could. If we wanted to leave at a moment’s notice to hop a plane to a tropical island, we could. But in reality we never did. We were pretty tame. But we were happy.

Right after the holidays we decided that this would be the year we had a baby. Unlike the wedding/marriage/decision to stay together forever thing- this was an easy one. I loved kids. He…didn’t hate kids. It was perfect. We talked it through. We made a 6 month plan. We’d get our finances locked down. We’d figure out if we could stay in the apartment. We’d figure out if we needed to buy a car. We’d take part of the year to really sort it out. But we forgot something important.

I am a fertile myrtle.  My body was made for baby bearing, and I’m not just talking about my hips. Just looking at babies could get me pregnant. And indeed, just thinking of having a baby was all it took. Well, not ALL it took. I’m not magic, but you get the point. I got pregnant quickly. Supersonic preggers. Look Ma, I got skills!

We were so excited. I won’t brag about how easy breezy the first months were. No morning sickness. No nothing. Just happy little butterfly flutters in my belly. We found out what we were having, because, well, you know. I’m nosy. I need to know things.

A girl!! Exactly what we wanted.

After that, instead of a Friday night movie – we’d head to Barnes and Noble and look up baby names. There must be an Irish/Ukrainian/Indian name right? Not so much. We knew the middle name would be Anne, because 1) Indians don’t really have middle names so I was open to anything and 2) My husband’s family has a long line of strong, beautiful women with that middle name. She could have no other middle name.

But there was an Indian first name that I loved. Asha. It means wish. Not just a small, penny-in-a-fountain wish – but a deep, burning, full-of-love wish. Asha Anne? It could work. I began working on my husband, trying to convince him that this was the name for our little one. He wasn’t loving it, but I think I would have talked him into it. Eventually.

2 months into my “Asha” obsession, my husband came home from work with a deeper than usual frown on his face. Then he proceeded to tell me about a woman who’d just started in his group that was making his life miserable. Anyone care to guess what her name was? Anyone? Bueller? No? It was ASHA. What? Come on!  In the words of Vizzini in The Princess Bride – inconceivable!

Long story short, we didn’t go with that name. But we found something even better. There are so many other details about that time that fill my head.

I could tell you about my doctor (I’d never met a Hasidic Jew before and the first time we were introduced he said,” you don’t ask me why I have curls and I won’t ask you why you don’t wear a dot, ok? Loved him). I could talk about the raging postpartum depression I had that lasted for months, and then one day, just turned off like a light. I could talk about how we painted a hallway yellow and called it a baby room (it was beautiful).

I went into labor at 5am. We hopped into a cab and my water broke. The driver didn’t act surprised, #cabsaredirty. I was in labor for a bit and then she was born. I remember my husband clearly saying to me, in the midst of my epidural haze, “we’re a family”. The next few hours, days, weeks, months were a blur.

I’m sure a lot of people assumed she was a “surprise” because we were so young. None of our friends were even married, let alone parents. We lived in a city where it was normal to see a twenty year old strolling around with a baby – because she was the nanny, not the mommy.

But we were unapologetic. She wasn’t Asha, but she was. Because she was a wish. A plan. A purpose.

That was 15 years ago. There’s a ton of words I could use to describe her. She’s funny, smart, beautiful, kind, thoughtful, stubborn, careful, sarcastic, passionate, loyal – I could go on and on.  Every time someone from the outside world tells me how amazing she is, I try not to do what I naturally want to do – which is to say,” I know right?”. I just say thank you and go cry in a corner.

Happiest Birthday to my first-born. Here’s what happens when you blink.  Your baby goes from this…

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To this…

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Second best decision ever

11 years ago my husband and I met one of his cousins to go on a skiing trip. They brought their two-year old twin boys and 4-year-old girl – who was best buds with our 4-year-old girl.

Before that weekend we had decided that one kid was perfect for us.  We loved our baby girl. She fulfilled every paternal and maternal need we had.  We were a tight little unit of 3 and we were happy.

Then we went away and everything changed. I don’t know if it was the way the three siblings in the other family clung together, or if it was my husband telling funny stories about his sisters, or maybe it was the memory of how happy I was when my mother told me I was finally going to be a big sister at age 11. Whatever the trigger was, then and there we decided our little girl needed one other person in the world that would share part of her history.

One other person that could understand how frustrating her mother could be, or how nutty her father was, or why we have cake for breakfast on our birthdays. A partner. An ally. Someone who knew what the house that she grew up in smelled like on Saturday mornings. Someone she could be angry at and say mean things to and still be able to sit down to dinner with and laugh. Yep. We needed to have another baby.

I got pregnant a few weeks later.

10 years ago today, I woke up at 4am on a Saturday morning and went into labor. I was supposed to go pumpkin picking that day with my girl and one of my best friends who had come to visit. Instead, my husband and I left them to go to the hospital.

The weather was exactly like it is today, cold and crisp. We lived in Upstate New York and the leaves had changed late that year – so everything was shades of orange and red.

He came like a bullet – in about an hour once I started pushing. And like a bullet, there was some major damage afterwards (I’ll save that for another post).

Since then he’s been a whirl of energy, emotion, comedy and activity. He’s always moving. Even in his sleep he’s moving. He’s smart and quick and always late for something. He says things like,” I love my life.” and “I want to be a kid forever”. Then I go cry in a corner.

And he loves, no adores, his sister. Both are Scorpios, if you believe that sort of thing (I do), but on different ends of the spectrum. She’s easy to trust, warm, welcoming and ready for anything. He’s guarded, careful and likes his routines. Bookends of our family.  Our perfect unit of 4.

So Happy Birthday to our little man. We had no idea how much we really needed you.

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