Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Little boy blues

Can you see what is clutched in Tommy's sleepy little hand? I have similar pictures from over the years, pictures of a little baby sleeping in a crib with a harmonica tight in his fist, pictures of a toddler dressed for the holidays, the telltale harmonica in hand. 

If you looked through my diaper bag from years ago, you would not have found a single pacifier. You would have found a wide variety of harmonicas though. I don't even remember how exactly it started, where that first harp came from. 

Tommy had tubes put in and adenoids out when he was a little over a year old. The anesthesiologist laughed when I carried him in. They had told me to bring a comfort object for him to hold as they put him under. All the other moms and babies waiting for similar surgeries had binkies and blankies. Not my boy though... mine had that harp held tightly in his fist.

This, to me, has to be one of the coolest things about parenting a big brood. To see how completely different all their personalities are right from the start. Yes, there are similarities, but it's those little quirks unique to each one that I really, really love.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Luck O' the Irish

With Saint Patrick's day yesterday, I couldn't help but think of how lucky I am these days. Sure I blew out my knee, but only because I am healthy enough to still be playing soccer at my age with 7 kids at home.

I sat on the couch last night with my leg propped up, and looked around me. Our house was brimming with family and friends, kids ran outside in the unbelievably gorgeous March weather playing hide and seek, teenagers sat talking and laughing in the kitchen, and adults were streaming in and out the door, with offerings of everything from wine to cupcakes.

With me laid up, Fitz was in full charge of our usual Wednesday night meal, and he ditched the spaghetti for the more traditional corned beef and cabbage. It was amazing. Wednesdays here are always amazing, but for different reasons each week. I ran a search for "Wednesday" on my blog, and it was so fun to look back at the special occasions that have fallen on Wednesdays... birthdays, New Years, and now Saint Patrick's day. Wednesdays are always a reminder to Fitz and I of how incredibly lucky we are to have such an amazing support group, but having come home from the hospital just hours before, and having everyone in a celebratory mood just brought the message home that much more clearly.

I am a lucky, lucky woman!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Broken filters

Yesterday, I was lying in pre-op waiting for my knee surgery when the nurse came in to set up my IV. She started in with casual chit-chat, I'm sure to relax me... and the inevitable family questions came up. When she found out I had 7 kids, she asked the dreaded, most ill-worded question... "Are they all real, you know by blood?"

Now my parents raised me to be polite, so I went with the polite answer, but what I really wanted to say was "Well, I'm pretty positive they are all real, and they definitely all bleed. I know because I have take every one of them in for stitches at one point or another, held their hand, let them know I was there for them... because you know, that's what real moms do."

When my polite answer mentioned we had adopted our last one, she then said "Oh, now isn't that nice. What possessed you to do that, when you already had 6 kids?"

Again, I went with the polite answer, but in my head I was saying, "well, actually God possessed me... you see he's this really cool guy who knows what's best for my family, unlike perfect strangers who don't know me or my kids."

And then the inevitible next comment. "Well, you must have a really big house then." And the answer in my head, "Why, yes! Because how could a child possibly grow up happy without a huge house, their own room and lots and lots of toys to play with? A mom and dad who love them are secondary, right?"

Now seriously, I answered each question politely, and we ended up having a nice conversation in which I hope she learned a bit. But it always amazes me the things that come out of people's mouths. Those old brain filters are clogged I guess.