This Is What I Had Hoped For You

The first words I heard were from the medical student. He was new to the baby business, not new enough that he hadn’t seen the process before, but new enough that he hadn’t been told that  “Woah, that’s a big one!” was perhaps a little enthusiastic. He was right. You appeared to be about three months old when you were born. Shortly after this shot was taken you crawled out of the delivery ward and ordered a steak from the bar next door.

A little bit later in the day you had an introduction to what was in store. You were to realize that you were not an only child, that there were others and they were noisy. After the initial excitement of your arrival you were relegated to the corner. Everyone wanted to hop in the bed with Mum.

Can you see that your eyes are open? I have my suspicions on your thoughts at the time. Nobody puts baby in a corner. *you won’t know but that’s a Dirty Dancing reference*

It was chaos for the first few months. Daddy had to go away for a few weeks and a girlfriend came to stay. At one stage I ducked over to the neighbours, when I came back I found the second and third little travelers hanging from the garage door while the first little traveller pushed the button to make it go up and down. She was doing me a favour by providing some games. 

This is what I had hoped for you. I wanted chaos and narrow misses. I wanted fun and the camaraderie that comes with a big family. I wanted you to feel surrounded and engulfed by us. We were to be inescapable.

I’ve watched the others drag you across the floor. They’ve picked you up to carry you over the snow. They learnt to skate while pushing you in the stroller, you were their anchor keeping them upright. They’ve all taken you as show and tell in class, you’ve sat next to them while they’ve explained how things worked and what to do. And when you finally decided to learn how to ride a bike, it was them  cheering in the middle of the road while you weaved your way back to us.

Last night at dinner we talked about your birthday, and how it was your final night of being six. The second little traveller suddenly gasped with excitement as her idea made its way from her head to her mouth.

“Shall we have a sleep over, like now, all four of us in the playroom?” 

“Can we? Can we? Can we?” you pleaded.

And in one swift moment you all disappeared, a mass of hysteria amongst pillows and mattresses. You all talked over the top of each other while arrangements were made on who was to go where with whom. 

This is what I’d hoped for you.

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