Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Puzzle

Today my oldest son turns six. 

Six...years...old...  This is an age that now requires TWO hands to show. 

His birthday always makes me reflect on how far we have come. 
Before we became "parents" we were just people. People who fell in love. At a graduation party.  In New Jersey.   

People who lived in an old warehouse apartment with spiral steps.  People who woke up at 3a.m. and ate Doritos while watching episodes of "Friends" on DVD. 

My husband has always known that he wanted to be a father, long before he considered being a husband.  He rejoiced at the notion of our surprise pregnancy in a way that not all fathers do. He loved our son naturally, without any reservation. 

I had a different reaction to the news.  I cried.  Not tears of joy, tears of terror.  I was terrified.  Sure, I had said that I wanted to have children, but those were hypothetical children.  The kind that came after five years of marriage.  The kind that give you a reason to send a holiday card and get family portraits.  I hadn't really considered "actual" children. 

Actual children put dirt in the DVD player and colored on the fresh living room paint with bars of soap.  Actual children wore their clothes backwards on purpose and told teachers at school that you cooked spaghetti on the toilet. 

What I knew of actual children you could fit into a thimble.  I was a high school business teacher, what was I going to do, show this baby a PowerPoint?  Teach the child the principles of Business Law? 

I love to tell the story of how I first met my husband.  How the world faded away and the only thing I saw was his face.  How I knew, from the moment that I laid eyes upon him that I was going to be his wife.  I knew that he was going to be my family. 

In the early days when my maternal instincts were still incubating but the baby was not, it was my connection to my husband that kept me tethered.  It was the knowledge, from the core of my being, that he was the puzzle piece that made me complete.  I relied heavily on his connection with our son hoping that I would connect by proxy.  I trusted him when he said eventually I would catch up. 

And catch up I did. 

Before we were this family of five, my husband and I were a family of two.  We were just two kids, two broken people milling around the world, each with a bag of assorted puzzle pieces, trying to put ourselves back together, and when we did, we made this amazing kid. And then another.  And then another. 

Sometimes, when I get overwhelmed with all of the demands of life as a full-time working mom, wife, pet owner, sister, daughter, neighbor, compassionate person, etc...I feel like things are falling apart and the puzzle is coming undone.  

The my better half reminds me that together, the five of us, are a WHOLE lot of amazing.


  1. Awwww!I cried too!!! And not out of joy......

  2. give both of those boys (birthday boy and the hubby) a big kiss for me!