Up until two weeks ago I was dead-set on having six children. Take the expression currently on your face, multiply it by 1,000 and you will have accurately approximated the looks of my friends and family the first time — no, every time — I talked about this. After the past two weeks, I can guarantee you that if I have even one more child, it will be because I have forgotten how tortuous pregnancy is for me.
I picked up my oldest daughter from preschool today and she walked out of class with a paper bag decorated with flower stickers and a gentle reminder from her teacher, “Remember, tell her not to open it until Sunday!”
Zoe did not so much as glance at her teacher — or me– and proceeded to set the bag on the floor in the middle of the crowded hallway, pull out all the tissue paper and informed me, “These are the salt dough hearts that I was telling you about. So can I share your presents, Mom?”
No, she didn’t mean share them with me. What she meant was, “I just made some fun crafts at school and was told they were supposed to be for you, but I would really like to keep them. Is that allowed?”
I spent about five years of my life trying to kill myself. That’s one-fifth of my earthly existence. I try not to wave this card around too much, but there is so much fear surrounding subjects such as depression and suicide that we are ready to crucify anyone with an opinion that does not have first-hand experience. Actually, we’re ready to crucify anyone whose opinion doesn’t align with ours. I tried to overdose on pills many, many times — so many that I lost count — and you would be shocked at how many times I am told that this does not count as a suicide attempt because I “didn’t try hard enough.”
I’m in bed with a fever and quite close to delirium. I know this because my last coherent thought was, “No, my head is not an apple.”
Now that we’ve got that sorted out, don’t ask me about the incoherent thoughts.
Before I dropped out of college I double-majored in physics and philosophy. I joked that I just flipped to the P section in the course catalog and picked the first two majors I found, but in reality I chose philosophy because I never knew what to do with life and I chose physics because it was the only subject I found challenging.
Our baby, Eve, is 8 weeks old today and our three-year-old, Zoe, has not said a single unkind thing to or about Eve in all that time. I had high hopes for Zoe’s relationship with her sister, but had not dared dream it could be this good.
I wasn’t planning on blogging a week after having my second child, but I feel compelled to write when I learn something and I feel compelled to learn something when I have kids — especially my pair of firecrackers. Learn or drown.
Zoe, bless your little heart for being our Guinea pig. You were the first newborn anything I ever held. Continue reading