Sunday, October 11, 2015

ice cream

I have always been a bath person.  I am sure it started as a young girl, my dad, yes, rather odd, was a bath taker and my mom would chat with him, solving world problems I assume while he took his bath.  So, in turn, I somehow am also a bath taker.  Some people., my husband among them calls this practice, human soup.  He obviously hasn't had the experience of a Lush fizzy ball and I have no desire to share it with him, I'd rather it be a mystery and leave me alone in silence for a solid 15 minutes.  Every time I take a bath I go through the same process, I mean, every. single. time.  I can see my first pregnant belly emerging from the water and watch my heart beat pulse the bubbles.  I see Jeremy's and I's first house in St. Paul, a vintage charmer, and well, only had a bathtub, and a "shower" in the basement with a work light clipped on so you could see, and yes, Jeremy would use that to avoid, human soup.  I loved that house, the first thing we "owned" together, making our memories, and we got pregnant in that house and moved out of it 3 weeks prior to giving birth to Graham.  So I have many human soup memories there, as I had a lot more time to simmer back then.  I remember getting so sick from morning sickness, so ridiculously named, as it was 7pm and puking in that wonderful vintage bathtub and leaving my husband to clean up, hmmm, maybe there is in fact a reason he refers to it as human soup.  Anyway, I can remember rubbing that belly, dreaming of a boy or girl, hair dark or light, thick or thin, my eyes or Jeremy's, likes sports or academics, those dreams were alive between my baby and I in that luke warm water, oh yes, I knew not to take "hot" baths when preggo.


I graduated to a big, beautiful master bath tub, one that engulfed my large belly and made me feel a lot less large, which at 9 months preggo was much appreciated.  I sat there rubbing and dreaming away.  I also took a bath with every single labor in that bathtub, our 2nd home.  It didn't matter if it was 4 am or midnight, I was clean and had makeup on ready for the hospital in between telling Jeremy to shut the F"": UP!  Just keeping it real. 

So, as with all the babies, I remember each one and our time in that bath, our alone time, both when I had just had them and brought them home and we would bathe together and also when they were in my big round belly.  The dreams, the images, the endless possibilities.  I remember so clearly thinking of Nolan, his name, and hearing it over and over, Nolan Robbins.  Pitching for the MN Twins Nolan Robbins.  Convinced he was our athlete.  Our risk taker.  I also remember painstakingly the day I found out he had down syndrome 72 hours prior to his delivery and rubbing that same belly and thinking horrible, terrible, dreadful thoughts about what he would look like, sound like, be like.  It breaks my heart now to know those thoughts ever entered my mind.  Brings tears to my eyes, now not because I am sad I had that experience, but because I am sad that I wasn't more educated and knew better.  I was wasting tears over something that in fact was one of the greatest gifts of my life. 

I went to the Taylor Swift concert with Audrey about a month ago and it was one of the best nights of my life.  Our girl and I just singing and cuddling and embracing the moment in every way.  It was perfection.  I told her kissing her goodnight that it was the top 5 moment of my life and she said what were the 1st 4, and I answered the births of all of our babies.  I realize now I forgot our wedding day, which in all honesty was awesome, so I do feel bad for forgetting, but either way, it came out that way.  And truth be told, with the stress that came knowing Nolan would have down syndrome and Ej's dramatic birth, I still hold those 4 days as my top.  I became a mama, 4 times.  It's magical becoming a mama.  No matter what chromosomes or deformities, or perfect nose and eyes, it really is magic and a miracle.  I treasure each and every one. 

October is Down Syndrome Awareness month and I feel that it is my duty to educate anyone I can, even if it's one person in Germany, to say, our son, Nolan, is here and worth every minute.  He is a human, a person, he laughs, he cries, he has demands and opinions, he isn't a creature, a monster, something to fear. 

Tonight Jeremy and I left Audrey and Graham at home and took EJ and Nolan to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurant's in St. Paul.  When we were out, we hugged them, tickled them, colored with them, fed them, laughed with them, and simply adored our time with our boys.  I said to Jeremy at one point, "we are out with our two that have special needs, not our typical kids." Jeremy said,  "I don't notice things like that anymore."  I hadn't either really, but for a moment.  I was enamored with our boys.  I was in love with their smiling faces, coos and signing for more chips.  I am so proud of how far Nolan has come in his language skills and the absence of screaming at dinner.  We talked briefly how every stage of parenthood has the pros and cons.  I just love our boys.  Our little boys, their blond curly hair, the smiles that radiate from sun up till sun down.  Their hugs and kisses that fill your heart with joy and most of all, just them.  I am not embarrassed of them, quite the opposite.  I can't wait to show them off, to proudly walk with them, telling the world different is better than good, it's amazing.  It's what makes people exceptional.  Talk to anyone you know about their life and the ones you admire most will talk about their struggles and the work they did to overcome them.  It's life, our growth comes from digging deep, trying our best.

Tonight Nolan ate his meal, chips and salsa, flautas and refried beans and then when the waiter came to ask if there was anything else we needed, Nolan touched his arm ever so gently and said, "ice ceam please".  Yup, that is all we needed.