Life was humming along smoothly. Seriously. School was a breeze for me, and I always enjoyed it. I spent my senior year skipping selectively attending classes to have an occasional picnic or lunch date with the greatest guy ever…smart, funny, and adorable. I graduated, took an internship which led to a fun job, and within a few months I was engaged.
We were married that next year, and spent about fourteen months doing the usual newlywed thing…going where we wanted, when we wanted, having fun, etc. Just before our second anniversary, our daughter Elisabeth arrived on the scene, and really there was barely the slightest hiccup in our routine, other than my coming home from work to stay home with her full time.
When Elisabeth was six months old…surprise! Another little one on the way. Sure, great. After all, I was really good at this Mommy thing. Actually, I’d always been pretty good at whatever I had attempted to do. Thus far.
Pregnancy is just not a picnic in the park for me. I guess it isn’t for anyone, but I’m constantly nauseous, and in some serious pain and discomfort during the third trimester. I struggle with anemia and fatigue. And my normally easygoing, bubbly temperment is replaced with…well…some very unpleasant attitudes.
Labor and delivery with Elisabeth was remarkably fast and easy for a first baby. Not completely without complication, but all natural and six hours start to finish is apparently unusual. Or so my envious friends informed me.
David, on the other had, was thirteen days overdue when I walked into the hospital on May 15, 2003. I had no idea what was in store for me as I faced an induction. Good thing. I would have run the other way. Yes the labor was only three or four hours long, but it was a three hours I don’t ever want to have to live through again. Enough said.
We brought David home and soon realized that each child is different and all assumptions about newborn behavior flew out the window. A three hour stretch of sleep was a huge treat, but one to one and a half was more usual throughout the night, if any at all given that David screamed and fussed for an hour or more after feedings. I clutched at minutes and hours of fitful sleep, while my husband paced the floor walking with the screaming, wriggling baby.
David didn’t like to be held or cuddled. By the time he was about six months old he could roll across the room, reach up, and pull things off shelves. By the time he was 21 months old he could break out of any harness and no lock was a match for him, unless keyed. I found him in the backyard. I found him in the middle of the night playing with knives in the dishwasher. I found him pushing screens out of second floor windows.
I was a nervous wreck.
By the time he was two and a half and his little sister had arrived, we realized that David needed some help…or more to the point, we needed help! In a book on natural home remedies, I found some dietary recommendations for treating ADD/ADHD. I didn’t want the label, didn’t want the meds, didn’t want the whole ball of wax. But we made some simple changes and…WOW. David slept through the night. (He had been getting up four or five times every night).
His eyes stopped darting around. He would stop and look us in the eye and listen to what we said. He would respond appropriately, demonstrating that he heard us and understood us. He could sit down and be still for more than two seconds. We were sold.
Today, we still have our struggles with David, but he is one amazing little seven-year-old. He’s really smart. He’s very funny–loves jokes and riddles and having fun. He is full of ideas, even though most of them get shot down for sheer impracticality. He has a vivid and active imagination. He is passionate, and though he is in desperate need of maturity and self-control, I am so thankful for who he is. Sometimes just thinking about David makes me tired, but I wouldn’t trade him for a passel of placid, quiet little boys.
Because there’s something about him that’s so very special…and our family just wouldn’t be the same without him.
Happy Birthday, David!