I come from hearty stock. Thank goodness, because raising babies in my family is not for the faint of heart. Just ask my mother.
She gave birth to my oldest sister, Daughter Number One, as young woman one year after she married my father. She said at that point she knew as much about taking care of a baby as she did about being a plumber (not much). My sister did all of the fun things babies do like cry a lot for no apparent reason and never sleep. But soon my sister learned to talk. And talk. My mothered yearned for quiet.
Two and a half years later, Daughter Number Two was born. She followed in the footsteps of Number One and cried a lot for no apparent reason and never slept. Then she learned to walk. And run. And climb. And to never be afraid. She climbed the banisters, moved the furniture, scared the neighbors, and had the fire department rescue her from a drain. She didn't talk much, but that didn't matter, because Number One talked enough for both of them.
Three years after Number Two, I was born. I just didn't cry for no apparent reason, I cried ALL of the time. I cried so much that I burst my tear ducts. I cried so much that the neighbors took me with them when they delivered groceries. They hoped to provide some relief for all involved. I consumed every minute of my mother's time. Meanwhile, Number One talked and Number Two was “busy.”
|My mother was tired, but the kids were happy.|
Then the miracle happened. Daughter Number Four was born four years after me. She only cried when she needed something. She slept regularly. My mother was afraid that something was wrong with her. She didn't understand this kind of baby. Meanwhile, Number One talked, Number Two was busy, and I cried easily, but we were manageable now—at least compared to before. For a little while, my mother could breathe and just be very busy raising four young girls. That was until my ailing grandmother moved in. But that's another story.
My husband has a theory that the number of kids in a family is equal to the number of easy babies plus one difficult one. Thank goodness my parents didn't subscribe to that formula or I wouldn't be here. I want to thank my mother, on this Mother's Day, for not giving up when I'm sure she wanted to and giving me a great start to life.