Thursday, May 01, 2008

How He Became Our Son, Part III

So there we were with all of our outlets properly protected.

We were living in a two-bedroom townhouse and our itty bitty guest room was taken up mostly by a queen-sized bed. That first week I would stand in the doorway after our new roommate had fallen asleep and my heart would clench at the sight of that tiny little guy in that huge bed.

I had so many mixed emotions. He was so little and so beautiful and he looked so damn adorable sleeping so soundly surrounded by that big mattress, and yet my heart would break that he was having to sleep in a bed that wasn't his.

And boy was I pissed at my sister.

How the hell could she put this amazing little boy in this position--ripped from his routine, living far away from home and with people who weren't his parents?!

He came to live with us in the middle of the NCAA basketball tournament. How do I remember? Because we took him to the bar with us to watch the games.

What?? That was our life then.

It was a local joint. We didn't drag him along to a club. It even had a restaurant attached. We set the kid up at the bar with a plate of chicken tenders and french fries and some orange juice to wash it down as we sipped our Miller Lites with the rest of the gang.

Chicken nuggets and orange juice were the staple of his diet at that point. Along with hotdogs and ham, he ate very little else. He was allergic to milk so that ruled out a number of foods. As a baby, he had been a picky eater never wanting to eat baby food from a jar. We had to mix it in with his formula to get vegetables in him. That combined with my sister's eating habits, he hadn't developed a very broad palette.

It was probably a good thing too. Just getting used to the responsibilty of having to have dinner ready for someone was tough.

The thing about kids is that they can't take care of things by themselves, so we were forced to start building a routine. I mean somone had to cook for him, someone had to give him a bath, someone had to read him a story, someone had to help him get his pajamas on and someone had to tuck him in. Or at least he had us convinced of this.

A week after he arrived I turned 30. The hubs had planned a big party--probably to rub in the fact that I was turning 30 before him (thirty-three whole days before him). The night before my party (my actual birthday) I got a call from my parents. I assumed they were calling to wish me many happy returns.

But it was just my dad on the phone. He was calling because he had news.

Mom wasn't there with him because she had dropped everything and flown up to be with my aunt--her only sister and my second mother. It had fallen to him to tell me that my aunt had been diagnosed with liver cancer.

I took the news with some tears, assured my dad that I wasn't upset that he had to tell my on my birthday, hung up the phone and the three of us went out to meet some friends for dinner.

These friends--K & P--would figure prominently in our ability to manage our plunge into parenthood. I told them calmly about my aunt's illness. They listened, probably not understanding how devastated I was because on the outside I appeared fine. They talked and played with our little guy at the table and patiently endured the cheesy restaurant where we met because I thought it would be kid friendly.

I went home that night and sobbed.

Sure our three year-old nephew had just moved in. Okay, I had just started a new job doing something completely different. So what I was turning 30. But the news of my aunt's cancer?

It was just enough to push me over the edge.

I can say now that the following months would mostly be a blur, and the parts I do remember? Let's just say I wish I didn't.

25 Deserve Mamma's Love:

Unknown said...

New reader reading this story. Thanks for sharing. You all were meant to be together.

flutter said...

Your heart is enormous.

Mom O Matic said...

Oh, I just adore you on so many levels. You run deep my friend.

Anonymous said...


Nancy said...

I'm hoping as you look back, some of the memories find you laughing as you think WTF?

I can't wait for more ... this story tugs at my heart.


Maureen said...

Wow... and here I thought bad things happened in just threes... you are way over your limit there. But of course, your new son wasn't a bad thing after all; just the sudden readjustment in your lives. Hopefully you'll be continuing the story -- I am eagerly awaiting more!

Great story Mamma.

PunditMom said...

You know I've been waiting for more of this story. When PunditGirl is older, I really want her to know you. :)

Anonymous said...

You are just the right person to raise this boy. You have such a big heart.

Anonymous said...

What better way for you and hubs to start a marriage...throw all the s*** in the beginning and you have nowhere to go but up. (((((HUGS)))))) for your aunt and all that you've been through. You are such a beautiful spirit.

BOSSY said...

Mamma Loves, you are so cute.

Beth said...

That was a lot of responsibility (and bad news) to deal with all at once. And you managed. Amazing what we can handle, right?
Best line from your post - "...he was so little and so beautiful..."

Nancy said...

I just saw your DC video/interview ... you are such a mom =) ... and more so, such a wonderful person.

It's funny to hear a bloggers voice for the first time. So soft spoken!

Anonymous said...

Just happened upon your site....I love how you tell the story.


Anonymous said...

Holy crap, Mamma! That is enough to make anyone snap. I admire your strength. Girl, you just keep on amazing me.

Julie Pippert said...

This is such a moving story---and your love, from the first second is beautiful. The aunt news---it's all straws my friend. Ladle enough on and eventually the back breaks. Thank you for sharing this.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

I adore you. Seriously.

Ready for the next part.

Cathy, Amy and Kristina said...

I remain riveted -- when's the next part?!

C. said...

(( hugs )) I can relate to your story on SO many levels.

Day Dreamer said...

Talk about everything hitting you all at once...

This is goood...patiently waiting for part four now...:)

Kimberly said...


and you too.

Kevin Charnas said...

Oh Mamma...What a warrior of a woman you are...with a big, fierce spirit!

But, I already knew that. Now, I just know it some more.

Liv said...

such a sweet series. you're good people, mamma.

Unknown said...

It's really an amazing story, lady.


Stacey said...

Incredible. I'm anxiously awaiting the rest.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

GOOD GRIEF! I can't even imagine how difficult that must have been for you!

I am glad those days are behind you now!

Hope you are having a great Mother's Day!