Friday, March 28, 2008

Birthday gifts: a two-way street

The light of my life turns two today -- the sunny, funny crazy little boy I call Muggsy. The second child, the one I wasn't supposed to have...literally and figuratively.

He arrived on a day that wrapped up six weeks of chaos, nine months of holy-shit-what-have-we-done, and marked a turning point in life as I knew it.

My body was aging, chronically damaged from a series of quarrels with various unwelcome bacterial inhabitants, and hadn't cooperated in conceiving for almost three years. Between surprisingly early hormonal shifts and an assortment of other afflictions, I had settled into parenting an only child.

So had Mr. Outdoors -- our little girl, the one who has him wrapped so tightly around that pinky of hers, took every last available piece of his heart, head and funny bone. He said he didn't have enough to give a second child.

Sometimes our Higher Power has either a better plan or a wicked sense of humor. Most days I think it's the latter.

In the course of 3 weeks, we signed paperwork to start a business from scratch, took a 10-day trip to Alaska (our last major vacation before business ownership would take that freedom away), and THEN found out we were no longer going to be parents of An Only.

My head spinning, I had to reconcile that we would be giving birth to a business and a baby at just about the same time, that our house at the time was not the home within which to raise two children, and my career in Corporate America would need a serious review. I hid my pregnancy until my 6th month -- I was the first female VP among a dozen others and I had a target on my back. This child was going to really, really complicate things.

We had a wariness, an expectation that things would be topsy-turvy. Of course, when we found out we were having a boy and none of the stuff we had for MiniMe would be suitable for re-use, we stoically accepted that as part of the deal. We had long ago given away all the other toddlerhood gear since...well, we wouldn't need it.

Then came attention to the nest. Moving to a new place had come up a few times before, mostly because Mr. Outdoors sold his house and moved into mine so it never really felt like "our" place. Even so, after 8 years it just became a matter of practicality. All the stuff! Moving would suck.

But, as luck and manic hormonal drive would have it, we found the perfect house for the perfect price at the perfect time -- I had issued a moratorium on house hunting if we hadn't succeeded by that point. We moved into our new house February 15, opened our business March 15 and Muggsy joined us March 28.

My head still spins when I think back on that time. Since then our business has folded, I left my career position and got sued for the way I did it, and our house is relatively unimproved because those kind of things require disposable income. The failed business and the lawsuit have taken away all of it and then some.

So much, though, is better. I've gotten to see MiniMe embrace her role as Big Sister, teaching and leading and occasionally wielding the power that is granted first borns. I watch the evolution as Mr. Outdoors bonds with the other man in the house ("Pull my finger...quick!") and has somehow found all the necessary room in his heart for both kids. I get the unbridled energy of this little boy who can make my worst day away from him into the best day ever once we're back together. We are a family of four, and I can't imagine it any other way.

Muggs, you're the best thing that ever happened to all of us. Happy Birthday!


TZT said...

He's gorgeous! Happy birthday to him.
Blog hopping,

Unknown said...

Aww! Happy 2nd Birthday to the little guy, he's just plain adorable.

What an amazing story. Since I've only recently started reading you, I had no idea about the lawsuit, etc. It seems that your family has really been through a lot and I hope things are better now.

Enjoy the weekend!

Unknown said...

Mugsy is adorable. We didn't expect our last one either, but he's been a gift.

I was an only child. I desperately wanted at least one brother or sister and never got my wish. I still miss it. I'm sure your little girl is very happy to have a sibling.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Aww, Hope his 2nd B-Day is wonderful! That picture is so adorable!! I think you blog is so great and I am so glad I found it!

Nadine said...

Beautiful story! Happy birthday little one!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm loving yours too.

BusyDad said...

Oh happy b-day to the little guy! Looks like amidst all the chaos the one thing left standing was the best thing that could have happened. Nice how life works out like that, isn't it?