Tomorrow my youngest of four will turn 10. That’s right…… 10. When Journey turned 10 almost 6 years ago I remember saying to Ben ” I can’t imagine the day when all of our kids will be double digits. Like no more single numbers in our family”. I remember the thought of that totally and utterly making me feel sick. We had four kids in five years and I knew that once they started to get older….. really older that it would be like a mass exodus.
If you would have asked me 20 years ago how many kids I wanted I would have said 6. Yup, 6. That was my ideal number. Not even sure why other than I had been surrounded by some pretty cool families in University that had really big families and I like what I saw.
I think I had told Ben that information when we were dating but then again we were children. When our girls were 2 and 1 I remember Ben sitting on the couch with the girls with his arms around them and saying ” this is so good babe. These two little girls. So complete we are good right”? Wait Ben you mean we are good as in we aren’t going to have anymore kids? Hmmmm. We are good… they are amazing but I for sure want more kids! Of course then Truth came along and having a boy in the mix was just perfect. Such a bonus. I think everyone thought we were done…. I secretly wanted one more for sure.
Our little family ( like really little 3 kids under 4) was sweet. The girls loved their baby brother and I loved being their mom. It was all kinds of crazy but it was our life. Then I had an accident. A horrible, snowboard accident that would literally change my life forever. When I first came in there was not a ton of hope for me. I have shared about this before so I will not go into it again. I will say that a part of me died that day. Up there on Mt. Seymour. The woman, mother, wife and friend I was, was gone. I now had to fight and re-define who I was and who I would be. This was a brutal, draining, and heart wrenching process. To be honest I do not remember much of this time. There are tiny snipits but those two years are essentially gone. It’s probably best. Ben tells me it’s best and that he wishes he could forget.
The reason I re-cap this story today is because part of the reason I recovered and fought so hard was because 2 months after being released from Lions’ Gate hospital ( after six week of care) I found out I was pregnant yet again:)
Now….. this was not ideal. At all. The neurologist called me all sorts of names as this was possibly the worst thing that could have happened for my recovery. The odds were already against me having three young children at home. The Dr’s said in order for me to have a full recovery I needed to spend hours and hours in a dark room in silence. Yeah right. So to add another child to the mix just made them angry. The number two thing on a list of ten that will make a brain injured person snap is a crying baby. ” Good luck with that Mrs. Smith”.
Again, I don’t remember much about that time but I do remember feeling very alone. Very sad, very scared. I was a great mom before I had the accident. I was multi-tasker extrordinaire. I knew everyone’s name even after I had met you once. Now I was not even allowed to be alone with my children for fear I would leave a burner on and burn the house down or leave the kids in the tub and forget. I felt insulted.
This is where the miracle part for me comes in. This baby inside. The little one that would move so gently when I was feeling so down and lost and dead inside. He would gently move as if to say “hey…. it’s me. You are alive. You are my mom”. This baby…. was so gentle and so mellow that the Dr’s were concerned he didn’t move enough and would send me for non-stress tests. Nothing is wrong… this baby is just mellow. While pregnant with Oak a very close friend of mine came over and told me about a feeling and a dream that she had. She told me that this baby inside would bring great healing and peace to all around him/her. That he/she would be a light in this dark world. I remember taking great comfort in those words when my memory would fail or when I would be so tired I could not imagine taking care of another life.
So on the eve of this remarkable boy turning 10. Double digits, I reflect on those words my friend shared with me all those years ago. ( you know who you are:) He is so,so kind. He brings light to all are around him. He walks into a room and people smile. He brought healing to me in some of my darkest moments. He has brought peace and comfort to many of his friends and people that are hurting. His heart is deep and his empathy for others is great. His joy and love for life is contagious and I am so very, very thankful that even in a brain injured state he chose me to be his mum.
Oak Bravery, the last 10 years with you have been an absolute delight. Watching you grow, and laugh and be beautiful, artistic, creative you. I could not be more proud of who you are and that you are not afraid to be you. I am truly filled with excitement as we watch what the next years have in store, and here’s to the next decade of raising kids that are no longer little. Maybe it’s time to get a puppy:)