I know, I know, just 2 days ago I was celebrating Naturalists birthday…but it’s true. Today, Golfer was born. And even though I tried for 6 months to get pregnant with Golfer and a year to get pregnant with Naturalist, they ended up having the same due date 3 years apart. The same freaking day! I was given false information…getting pregnant has very little to do with having sex and very much to do with having a good meal, as I only got pregnant apparently on Thanksgiving weekends. So here’s a free tip if you want to get pregnant: make a huge Thanksgiving dinner with aaaaaall the fixin’s (extra stuffing and mashed potatoes!), eat until you can’t eat anymore and then eat a little more, then go have sex and immediately fall asleep. Boom! Pregnancy!
So yes, 14 years ago today I was in the hospital experiencing my first “epidural” birth with the one and only Golfer. I’d gone totally natural with Naturalist and loved it…but this time I didn’t have a doula. Golfer’s dad was prone to fainting at the sound of words like “uterus” and “placenta” and preferred to be as far away from anything contracting or expanding as possible, so we agreed it would be best to lay me down in a hospital bed and let all the doctors and nurses to the work. Sure enough, once the epidural took hold I couldn’t feel a thing. I watched TV (a live car chase…remember when they were “the thing” in LA?!) and then flagged down a nurse when I started feeling uncomfortable again.
“Sorry to bug you, but I think I need more of that epidural stuff they gave me!”
She checked me out.
“No, honey, what you need is to have that baby!”
Well knock me down with forceps! Half an hour later I had a sleeping baby boy in my arms!
You know how newborns have the same slate gray eyes for a few weeks, until they settle on their real color? Not Golfer. He opened his eyes for the first time and they were the lightest of blue. I got lost in those eyes. I stared in them for hours at a time. When Naturalist was a newborn, I would watch her breathe. With Golfer, I just held him close and looked in his eyes.
I spent the first couple of months weeping every time I nursed him. And not in a postpartum depression kind of way, but in an “I need to go out and stop every war that’s happening in the world so those boys can go back to their mama’s” kind of way.
Having one girl, I thought I was prepared for another child. But I totally was unprepared for all the different ways this new boy baby would be.
For starters, he peed on my at least 5 times a day until I learned how to manage his boy bits when changing his diaper.
I had a very gender neutral house with equal opportunity toys and experiences, so when I painted Naturalists nails I painted his too if he wanted. He loved to toddle around in dress up clothes and sparkly shoes. I did, however, forbid any kind of violent type toys so guns were right out. Then he chewed his sandwich into the shape of a gun and went around pretend shooting all the pillows. “OMG!” I thought. “Cowboys and Indians is genetically imprinted in little boy genes!” He also loved cars with a singular burning love that drove him (ha!) to push little cars back and forth for hours while he watched the wheels turn.
He’s adventurous and fun, and that’s made me explore new areas of skills that I didn’t have before. I can peel out in a car, arm wrestle with the best of them, shoot a nice 3 pointer, ride a skateboard to the park, and camp like no one’s business. I showed him pictures of me firing a Glock and a revolver and he practically cried with pride for me. When I carried Sassy for 2 miles on my back to try and get her out of the dangerous situation, he told me it was the most impressive thing he’s seen. Badassery and feats of strength weren’t things I’d ever done well before him, but now I like to show off and watch him smile at me.
My love for him wrapped me around his little finger. It’s a different kind of thing than with my girls. With girls, I’m used to that cameraderie. I’ve had sisters and best girl friends around for my whole life. But this boy thing was new to me. I never had tons of friends that were boys. Or even boy friends…not that ended well anyway. The relationship with my dad and then husband was tied up in lots of stuff that made the love feel conditional and hard to feel/express. But here I had all this unconditionally loving boy energy in my life and it melted into me as softly as a whispered prayer.
My girls were quite demanding, but this boy…all he needed was me. My girls had binkies and blankies. Golfer just wanted me. Quite often he would calm himself down by touching me somewhere…my knee, or neck, or hand, or cheek. Ideally you are whole and complete before you have kids, and then you fill them up without needing anything in return. But realistically, we’re all trying to figure everything out still, and are all trying to fill in our own potholes from life. Having this kid with his sweet baby blue eyes that mirrored in them a mother that could do no wrong…it fixed a part of me that didn’t think I was enough. His confidence and love for me made me think of myself in a new light.
Being enough for him made me realize that I could start being enough for me, too.
I know I said right up above that I want to stop all wars and killings so every mama could have her little boy back.
However, I am prepared to cut anyone who hurts this guy.
He’s protective of me, and I’m protective of him.
I think of any of his future girlfriends showing up at the door; and all I can picture is me walking up to them, getting really close, and whispering to them, “You better be good to him. If you break his heart, I’ll break yours.” Perhaps some therapy in the next 2 years will help me be better prepared for this occasion.
Happy Birthday, Golfer.
14 years is just a drop in the bucket, and I can’t wait to see what you do in the next 14.
You’ve made me badass and a real mans man. Er, I mean, mans woman.
Thanks for all the burping, farting, joking, and lighthearted wrassling you bring into my life.