LG and I were enjoying the view from our blanket on the Law Street Beach. Rather, I was enjoying the view, he was focusing on me and trying to plant his pudgy little feet on my squishy thighs. MainMan was somewhere off in the surf. I couldn’t make him out because it was just before sunset and all I could see were silhouettes of surfers dancing, flopping and floating in and out of the waves. I pinched myself this was our life now. I missed the ocean when we lived in South Carolina. A lot. And now, here we were, in San Diego, and I was meeting my husband to watch his post-work surf lesson.
As I was gurgling and gibberishing with my son, a tall, slender woman approached us, probably in her late 40s.
She gazed admiringly at us and with a tinge of envy and nostalgia said, “It feels like just yesterday I was doing the same thing with those two!” She pointed proudly at the two kids frolicking in the white water about 50 yards away from us. One had a surfboard, the other a wake board.
I smiled, “Aw, really?”
“This is such a great place to raise kids,” she said. “They call me from school begging me to bring the boards when I pick them up so we can go to the beach.”
“Wow. That’s so great! I love hearing that. We just moved here,” I replied, with a big grin.
“Well, enjoy it! We are the lucky ones.”
Before I could respond she had turned away. Her long, silky skirt blowing in the evening breeze. I would have liked to talk with her longer. To ask her 1,000 questions about being a mom. Having a son. What it was like. What I had to look forward to. What I had to brace for. How to raise him to be good. And kind. And to thank her for reminding me how special this moment/these moments were.
We are the lucky ones.
How did we get here?
The simple answer is we got pregnant via IVF with our second frozen embryo transfer. This after two failed IUI attempts and one failed transfer (I will always emphasize this in case women #ttc stumble upon my blog). We moved back to California because MainMan got a job at the San Diego Zoo.
Writing our birth story was phase one of my processing our experiences so far, but that was one day in the life. How do I encapsulate the countless precious moments we’ve shared with LG these past six months? And the hard ones, too? I guess I’ll just chip away at it one post at a time.
Before we had LG, our bully mix Agnes was the love of our lives (rescued as a 1 to 2-year-old in 2011). Bode came along just last year, and while I love him to pieces, I’m still trying to figure him out. This doesn’t mean I love him any less. We just have a different relationship. One of our pets is a warm, affectionate creature who can’t get enough of me and is always on her best behavior. The other can be a schizo asshole: one second he’s charming and kneading your lap on the La-Z-Boy, the next he’s climbing bookshelves, opening cabinets, breaking shit and taking a swipe at your ankles while you prep his dinner. I often wonder now, can it feel like this when you have more than one child?
I spoke often of doubting my capacity to love a baby as much as I love Agnes. Then it happened.
In an instant, I went from being a crazy dog mom (one who would jump over Niagara Falls to save her dog) to an actual mom. My heart exploded with the joy and agony of this new kind of heavy love. I looked down at the little human we created. So this is what this feels like. From the moment I held him in my arms I didn’t want to miss a second of his life. I hoped an orb strengthened by our boundless love would keep us safe and together forever. If I could drink from the fountain of youth so I could be there to hold his hand on his dying day (which I hope won’t be until he’s well into his 100s), I would.
When it comes to my family, I often think of Christina Perri’s song “A Thousand Years.” I felt like I’d discovered a long-lost and long-awaited love when I found MainMan. I felt the same way when I found Agnes. And I feel it now with LG.
“And all along I believed
I would find you
Time has brought
Your heart to me
I have loved you for a
I’ll love you for a
As I look into LG’s bright blue eyes and see my reflection in them, I see our extraordinary lives flashing before us. All the fun we’re going to have. All the adventures we’re going to share. All the stories we’re going to exchange. All the laughs we’re going to make. All the hugs, tears, triumphs and failures that make up one’s life. A thousand years hardly seem like enough time to fit it all in.
As my curious LG stares back at me, I sense him wondering already. How did we get here?
Someday I’ll tell you, LG. Someday I’ll tell you the story of us. The lucky ones.