Seven years ago tonight I was trying to figure out how my heart could be so full. The Middle One came into the world at three o’clock in the morning seven years ago and by the following evening, I was smitten. I didn’t know at that moment, but I would learn soon enough, that he is my angel.
Don’t worry, this isn’t some gushy mom post. I don’t mean he’s always perfect and never does anything wrong-quite the contrary is actually true of my Middle One. He’s no angel if perfect is your definition.
I fully believe in divine intervention, or karma or God Winks or whatever you want to call them. I completely believe we all have moments in life where you are thrown a curve that seems totally wrong but actually leads to just the right thing or moments that seem ordinary but actually hold great meaning or worth. Sometimes those moments involve other people. That’s what I mean by angels.
The Middle One was born late. The Husband and I had planned to skip my family’s traditional Christmas Eve festivities because we assumed we’d be home with a newborn and the madness of that night would be too much.
My mom was furious.
My mom never got furious.
As (normally) annoying and opinionated as she was when I was making decisions as a kid and an adolescent, she respected every single decision I made as a married adult, even when she maybe shouldn’t have.
But that year she was annoyed with our choice to stay home with a newborn and she wasn’t afraid to tell me about it. (Actually, per her personality she didn’t tell me anything but rather froze me out and made me figure out why.) I struggled so much with hurting her feelings and then in turn being angry that she had the nerve to make things so tough. Wasn’t having a baby enough? Did I have to worry about her feelings too? After all, she wasn’t sick anymore, the cancer treatments had ended and she was as healthy as she had been in years. Did she have any right to demand this now? (Wow, what a shitty daughter I was, huh?)
Well, his due date came and went and I was still very much pregnant on Christmas Eve so we ended up at my mom’s house and it was lovely. She was happy. I was fat and uncomfortable but I enjoyed myself and the revelry as much as I can ever remember. The Girl got to spend the night being doted on by aunts and uncles and her beloved Grandma.
Three days later He was born.
Then She died.
Ok, it didn’t happen that quickly but it seemed that way. It felt like I left the hospital with a bundle of boy and was burying my mom by the time I got home.
And He knew.
I’m certain He knew that if he just hung in there one more week that I could spend my last Christmas with my mom.
How devastated would I have been if I spent our last Christmas together with her angry at me?
So my little angel stepped in and made it work the way it was supposed to. Then he spent the next year healing his sad, sad momma.
As a baby, He was quiet when I needed him to be quiet. He gave me time to pause and reflect and be grateful. He didn’t demand much from me except snuggling and food-two things that providing him helped to mend my heart.
As a Boy, He makes me focus on the wonder in ordinary days. He’s contemplative and thoughtful which means I have to be to. He is accommodating and kind, which means I get time to figure out how to share my love with his siblings. He screams when I need to stop and pay attention which means I never have to worry that I’m not giving him enough.
He has healed me once and he continues to make my life richer every day.
My Middle One is seven and once he gave me the greatest gift of time with someone I love. Now, he gives me himself and I am better every day he allows me to share this earth with him. Thank you Angel Boy.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.