Drama meets a dolphin at Sea World
Drama and a Kangaroo
Trouble and a Kangaroo
The girls and Baby the Koala
looking at the waves, Broadbeach
Which brings me to the next subject of my little reflection. Last week, while hopping beach playgrounds and snapping 500+ photos of the girls with various Down Under wildlife phenoms, my lovely daughter Miss Drama celebrated the passage into her eighth year on this planet. I honestly cannot remember what I did before I had kids. I can remember snippets and stories and laugh at stupid things I did or said...but I sort of feel like I'm recollecting an old episode of Friends. Like that couldn't possibly have been ME in that life. That said, there was a brief and tortorous time when I was sure I would never be a mother. Those were dark days, and though I am so glad to have gone through them to have gained the perspective and gratitude that can only come through not getting what you want the nanosecond that you want it...reflecting on Drama's Birth Day always brings me back, momentarily, to that empty place in my soul that is now full to overflowing with the existence of my children. (Holy Run-On Sentence Batman...fix THAT one, my English Word Nerd Friends!!) It would be wrong to simply brush over the happy day when seven years of couplehood became a Whole New Thing. My friend wrote a blog post recently about Game Changers. Moments in your life that literally change everything. For all parents, the arrival of their firstborn is a Game Changer. But for me, particularly, the day that I held that glorious little pink bundle in my arms I became what I was actually meant to be in this life. Years later, I had an epiphany that my Job as Her Mother was the only job in the world that I was singularly and indisputably The Most Qualified Person in the World to Do. And Boy Howdy....how she has changed me.
The night before her birthday, we took the girls out to dinner at a lovely marina-side Italian Restaurant. They proceeded to behave exactly as one would dream their children would at a nice restaurant for a holiday meal. They used their polite words, they participated in family conversation, ordered for themselves, ate using thier Princess Etiquette (PaPere would have been proud), and Circus Dad and I proceeded to consume two bottles of wine. Don't Judge. We walked back to the hotel and all fell asleep before 9pm. It was Party Hardy Old Folks Style. I Digress. During this absolutely lovely meal, Drama asked me to tell her a story about when I was young. (Over the course of the vacation, I was telling the girls numerous stories about the last time I had been in Surfer's Paradise and showing them where I did various things). Instead of regaling her with stories of my Australian summers....I told her about the day she joined our family. And I thanked her for choosing me to be her mommy because she makes me a better person. And she grinned (that rather frightening snaggle-tooth and missing teeth grin of a newly-minted 7-year-old) and said, "You're Welcome. I think I knew you Needed Me."
Layering on the Reflection Topic, but in the same vein, last night we welcomed the first, last, and only Baby Boy into the Circus/Broccoli fold. He's a canine baby boy...but we welcomed him just the same way we welcomed the human children in our house. We threw a bunch of money at toys, cushiony things that we hope will make him Sleep Through The Night, and we ooohed and ahhhed at his cuteness. This morning, he had the audacity to wake me before even Trouble had risen. Just like the other two babies in our house...the first night you can't wait to see their adorable little cutness and I bound out of bed to carry him down the stairs (he doesn't know how to climb down, yet) and out into the pouring rain to try to coax him into making a wee wee outside. Easier Said than done. The point of this little tale, you ask? Having a new baby in the house this week makes me remember the tiny baby we had in our house 7 years ago, and almost 4 years ago....and it makes me smile. I was on Skype with my In-Laws this morning, introducing them to our (surprisingly mellow) little dude and they asked me if it was like having a new baby again. It kind of is. I mean, you really can't wait to see their cute little faces. You're not completely psyched about the housebreaking/pottytraining aspect (and let me just say that if it takes the puppy even 1/10th as long as it look my children to get the hang of it, I'm sending him back). You hope they will sleep through the night, but kind of relish those fleeting middle of the night cuddles. All things considered, and in all honesty...the first night with Aussie was 1000 times easier than the first night at home with either of my girls. I told MIL that if my kids had been that easygoing and laid-back, I'd have 10 children. I also think I'm way mellower with him than I was with our first puppy or with either of the girls when I first brought them home. I'll go ahead and chalk that up to lack of pregnancy hormones ...because we all know that I don't get as much sleep as I need...so it's not being well-rested.
It's a Hard Life for Aussie at our house
Walking to the Bus Stop...Poor Aussie wasn't so keen on the leash
Trouble's turn. Aussie was getting the hang of it on the walk home!
So, here we are. A little family of five. Circus Dad is no longer completely outnumbered, as there is now another masculine life-form living in our home. My kids totally impressed me with their politesse and their, well, Selves on our holiday. So Life is Good. I'll get back to you after I've passed through the 24 hour puppy honeymoon and after he's had a few accidents on the carpet. But for the moment...it's a very peaceful reflection and I am One Happy Mama.