Was it really five years ago that I went shopping and bought the wrong groceries? Went to the ice cream store and ordered a sugar cone, which I never have and never will like? Went home and remarked on how the cat was acting weirder then usual around me?
Was apparently going into labor and didn't even realize it?
Was it really five years ago that I woke up at 1 a.m. and said to the big guy that my back hurt? I remember laying in bed, looking at the clock, trying to figure out if I should worry about the strange, minor pains that were coming with odd irregularity: one minute, five minutes, three minutes, ten minutes...
If it hadn't been for the small dot of blood on the bed sheet, I might have rolled over and tried to go to sleep.
After all, I was only seven months pregnant!
But the small dot was enough for the big guy to put his foot down and drive me to Magee at 1:30 in the morning.
My water broke just fifteen minutes after our arrival. Gavin was born at 4:59 a.m.
One wonderful squall came from my son before his lungs collapsed, but I knew nothing save for the fact that he was alive and had screamed as babies are supposed to and that the doctors had him on the crash cart and were taking care of everything. My husband and mother were there and neither gave any indication that something might be wrong.
It might have been five minutes later or forty, I've no idea, but when he was stable again I got to hold him -- forever, my memory will be of the fact that the first thought into my mind was that he was wrapped up like a little bowling pin. I could only hold him for a moment and it wasn't enough, but at four pounds and only seven months a moment is dear.
Just this week I read, again, that premature babies face a larger number of health risks, developmental issues, learning delays, etc. etc.
Someone, very fortunately, forgot to tell my son about the article.
Just yesterday, for example, Captain Chaos climbed the hill in our backyard and began throwing rocks down it to... well, I'm not sure why really. Maybe he was testing the theory of gravity. Then, because he thought it would be interesting, he tried to pulverize a deer bone (found in our backyard, our property abuts state land) with an ancient gardening spade. After that, the rocks he tossed down the hill were moved to his new pile of dirt that is half-on and half-off of our stone patio: seven pots of dirt that once held vibrant annuals were sacrificed to make a nice pile for his Tonka trucks.
"Look how strong I am, Mommy," he called, lifting the rocks and moving them to his miniature construction site. "Look!"
Ferocious mother-love welled up, and it took all of my strength not to turn into a mess of tears right then and there. He has no idea how strong he is -- nor does he know how his simply being mine gives me strength to fight for what I need.