My oldest son turned 9 on January 1st. He is a New Year's baby.
I realize now that this time with him is going to fly by. Their childhood seems so long, sometimes. The nursing, diapers, chasing them around in restaurants, lack of privacy, lack of space, exhaustion. It all seems so endless sometimes. And then it is gone and I am amazed and grateful for the experience of it and the beautiful new relationship that continues to blossom.
My children are gorgeous and funny and different. And I am so happy to know them. To be present to their journeys.
On New Year's Eve, 1996, Nguyen and I heard the fireworks in Providence as we lay in bed. An hour later, my water broke and my contractions began. Throughout the night, the contractions got stronger and more insistent. By 9 am, I was pretty sure I was in late first stage labor and it was time to head to the Birthing Center. There was snow on the ground. The sun was shining. It was bitterly cold. We climbed into our VW Vanagon and made our way to the hospital. My friend Michelle followed in a separate car.
At the hospital, labor intensified. It was the hardest thing I ever did. At one point, I began to panic... but was quietly reassured by the confidence of my husband, my friend and my midwife.
Noah was born at 1pm... exactly 12 hours after the first contraction. He came out in a single, huge, push. He was born into my waiting arms. A tiny little being that I knew, even then, was going to be a great teacher to me.
Thank you, Beloved, for the gift of my family.