When Alexander was born I was 18, unsure about my life, unsure about myself. I learned how to be a mother with him, because he was the first. I was uncertain, I was not ready, no matter how many times I had convinced myself I was an adult, I really wasn't. However, I learned, and after he was born, I made myself ready, I fell in love for the first time and I embraced motherhood for all that an 18 year old could. I made myself accept my life, forced myself to be happy with my choice of husband and we were happy. It was fun playing house, it was fun playing parents, it was fun playing spouse. We worked with what we had and we had it all, in a way, the perfect little family, me as the stay at home mom, with my little man. It was what we thought it should be. I can honestly look back and tell myself, that while I wasn't ready for Alexander, I grew ready.
2 years later, however, I was ready, so ready! More then ready, I needed to have another baby. Our life was changing, I was fading away. I was doing my best, but I was lost on a choppy sea, and my mind was dimming. When I woke up one morning with this urge to complete our little family, like somehow, maybe, just maybe, that would patch up the holes in our sinking ship, I knew, I wanted to be a mother again.
It's heart breaking to look back and realize that nothing could fix what was already crumbling, but we tried. It sad to think that we brought a child into this world, who had to hold so much hope on his tiny little shoulders, but for a while it worked.
When I found out I was pregnant for the second time, I was filled with a sense of love and joy that I can barely explain. There was hope, there was happiness, there was a sense of longing that could not be quelled. I was so ready, so in need of this child, that I hung on to every second of that pregnancy as if it may be my last. I took pictures of my growing belly, I went through name books although I was happy with choices I never got to use the first time around, I held onto the memories, by writing them down in a little notebook. As my pregnancy progressed and I knew I was having another boy, I was more then excited, I was looking forward to our adventures.
When Tristan came the day after a record heatwave in August, just a week before my 21st birthday, I fell in love again, and this time, I felt completed. I had my little elfin child in Alexander and this beautiful baby with a head full of Black curls, that we named Tristan Arthur; in honor of the hopeless romantic Knight of Arthurian legend and his hawk companion that flew over our house all year long, as if a sign, and my grandfather, Artie. He was 8lbs, 3 oz of wonderful and I couldn't stop looking at his face, the perfect curve of his cheek, his perfect little hands and feet. He was mine! All mine! I wanted him so very badly, I fought to have that baby, he was my baby! As the year went on, as he changed from month to month, I fell in love more and more, with this happy, contented child, who flowed into our life so easily and made my heart contract with a third beat. I was ready for this second child so much; I was content in my life and I was content with my world.....
Sadly; my marriage wasn't.
I should have seen it coming, all the signs were there- he had told me he didn't want to have another baby, when I found out I was pregnant. He was disappointed when we found out we were having another boy and not a girl, he would ignore us, when he was home, complain about everything. I tuned it all out because I was in my bubble of contentment, there was a roof over our heads, a baby to grow, a toddler to nurture- I was happy. I guess I was also blind; he withdrew further, or grew short and expectant of the world we were living in, to be his way or no way at all. I was stuck there, because this was the choice I had made back when I was 18, so I continued on that path- for the best of my children. I put in a try for it all- but nothing I did was good enough, it never would have been, even if I sacrificed my ways and did everything his way, because he wasn't happy anymore. Sometimes, you can not change fate- it pulls you in the direction you are supposed to be going, not the one you think you want. For a year, almost a year in a half, I did what he wanted; I tried to be the wife and mother he wanted me to be, and when Tristan was 18 months old, I saw the shadow creep in and the end of our world as we knew it then, got scattered to the four winds. It was over and now what did I do?
I had two toddlers; one just learning to walk, the other one learning to grow, and I was alone.
Was I bitter and angry? Of course I was, he was gone, I was alone, I was afraid, I didn't know what was going to happen next, if I could even take care of these two little boys on my own. Was I sad? Of course! This was my first choice, the father of my children, we were going to do the happily ever after thing, weren't we. Isn't that how it is supposed to work? I wasn't kidding when I once told a few people that you do not know who you are until 25; you really don't. You are still all about Once upon a time and happily ever after, even if you are a brooding emotional youth, somewhere deep inside it is all unicorns and rainbows, knights in shining armor. If it wasn't you wouldn't quote depression love poems about your one true love. So I wallowed and I didn't see the light that was shining in my tunnel, because I was broken and miserable as a nearly 22 year old will do-
And the light came in the form of giggles and smiles, a baby who could only say Mama, More and "I Don't Know" make funny faces, chase the cats and bring on the laughter through the darkest of days. That was my Tristan, this baby I wanted more then I wanted air in my lungs! Full of so much light, he was touched by an angel and he was dubbed by my mother, "Our Angel Baby!" Through all my hurt and pain, I had my children and the love I had for them was twice as consuming and natural and strong, then the pain I felt in my heart by the betrayal. I could live, I had too live, for them.
A year had passed and while that baby grew and changed, he was still the light of my life, while changing from giggles and smiles, too more giggles and smiles and tantrums thrown in. He was still my light. While his brother was my rock, he was my light, he made the clouds disappear with every energetic burst, with every happy face, joyful laugh, sweet cinnamon kisses and the best hugs in the world. He continued to do that, he continued to be all of that.
Now, as he is 9 years old, he is still my adventure. My whirlwind tornado, my sunshine, my thunder cloud. He tries my patience, pulls on my heart strings, hugs me the tightest and the longest, misses me the most. We fight and we cuddle, because I wanted him so much, I needed him so very much! He needed me, still needs me. I look into those very blue eyes, at that million dollar smile and the whole world rearranges itself, bad days become good days, his smile is contagious, his personality is on fire.
That baby who started out as a spark of hope, continues to see the beauty in everyone, the special in everything. He is my heart, Alexander is my Spirit! We overcame the darkness together, with smiles and giggles, and there is nothing, no one that can ever take that away.