I had so hoped it would rain the day you were born. (Well, either rain or be so perfectly nice out that I could labor outside in the wind.) But there was a drought last year. It was a hard year in Iowa. At least for me and the farmers. They were worried about growing a crop. I was worried about getting you born.
I had never birthed a baby all on my own before. When your sister was born, a doctor helped me do it. Getting you born was something I wasn't sure I could do. I prayed a lot. And I cried a lot. And you just patiently waited. God kept you safe inside me, safe from my worries. Safe from my fears. Safe from my sadness.
It was always hot outside. And sticky. And every day the weather woman (who also had a baby in her belly) would say, it will rain. And I would think, when it rains, you will come. And every day weather.com would revise it's forecast, and it would never rain. The rivers dried up, and the ground cracked. And I waited.
When I finally cried it all out. When I finally felt every fear. When I finally dried up inside. I felt strong enough to wait. I calmed down and lived my life that day.
And that night you said, "Hey, mommy.... I think I'm ready."
You whispered in your water. And my arms heard you. My hands held you from the outside, and we sat together making a game plan, speaking without words, without thought -- without any thoughts, but speaking the deepest language I've ever known. Sat in silence together for a whole hour. And then my body said, "It's your birthday." And together we moved until you were here.
This year, it rained.
Last year was hard.
And this year is good.
I marvel at your being, Ruby. You are nothing like me last year. You are all smiles. And all joy. (Well unless you are getting 4 teeth at the same time -- then you are the spitting image of me last year -- screaming angry and sad ;) But other than that, you are just SO happy. You are the happiest person I have ever met in my life! ) You have been a balm on my aches. You are a gift. I can't even begin to feel the depths of how glad I am that I said yes to God when he whispered silent sensations to my heart, "Would you have this special baby I have for you? I know it scares you, but would you do it? It's a blessing you need. You will miss it if you wait. You need to trust me. You need to say yes, to have this one." I can't imagine my life without you. I can't imagine my heart without you. You are a special girl. You are my special gift.
I wanted to fill out your baby calendar this year. I wanted to do everything just right for you. But when I started that calendar I couldn't do it. My heart was still kinda shaky. I was still trying to figure out how faith came into how both my girls came into the world. And baby calendars well, they had a sad feeling to them for me. And I wanted to meet this year with joy. I hope you don't mind that I didn't write down your firsts. I watched them all with joy. I felt them all serenely. And you met them all with ease.
Its been so fun for me to see your personality come to light. (I know you've always had it, but it takes time for me to decipher it.) I've enjoyed seeing how you are different than your sister. (I used to have an impression that if I compared my kids it would mean I was loving one better. But it's actually so different. I see your differences and love you each more.)
You, on the other hand, Ruby... You haven't worked towards anything. Not in a lazy way. Nope that's not it at all. You just notice its possible and you go, and smile and laugh and enjoy the whole time before it is possible. You have always been content. And then one day you would just be doing something. You are good at what you do. And you are good at waiting for it. You are someone who does NOT enjoy teething, and you don't mind voicing your opinion about that. Actually, that's true of you at any moment you are displeased (its not often, but when you are...) you like to tell us your feelings. You've been someone who likes to sleep. You were shockingly easy to put to bed. That is until you learned to pull up, and then you were sadly hard to get to sleep for a good month or more (and crying it out is a concept you are certain is nothing more than folklore.) After the novelty of standing wore of, you went back to bed, but you were spoiled from all the rocking. (And don't let those baby books fool you --- that was the only way any of us were getting sleep that month. I tried other stuff. You just wanted to stand, and you were angry as all get-out that you couldn't sleep while doing so.) As far as food. I knew right away you would love it. You've always tolerated nursing for nourishment, but you really never comfort nursed, ever. You were always irritated that you needed nurse and still wait for the letdown before you were feed. You often would try to give up on the whole idea of eating right then, because you just saw no point in nursing unless there was food involved. I would usually let down about 2 mins after you moved on, and I would have to convince you that it was worth a second try. All that said, you've never taken a bottle. (ha. Silly girl.) It made it hard for mommy to leave you home with Daddy. But he did let me get out about one night a week, and did his best for you. Around 4 months you showed signs of wanting grown up food, but I made you wait till you were 6 months old. Sheryl (our midwife) told me to let you feed yourself soft foods. So at 7 months (right after she told me that) you were a self feeder and have never looked back. You don't want momma putting anything in your mouth, you'll do it yourself! You like pretty much every food you try. And you like to eat. You usually don't mind your carseat. And as a small baby you were happy to sit in it at the store (Jasmine would have no such thing!) You are independent, and not too snuggly. Sometimes you like to snuggle, and it store it up in my heart. But most the time you like to entertain yourself. And I treasure that too! (It's really helpful for me as a momma of two!) You are a sweet combo of people loving and self-contenting. You do like to snuggle blankets and pillows. If you see something like that on the floor you crawl over and faceplant as fast as possible! So cute! You've always been quite verbal. You've liked making sounds so much more than your sister did. I wonder how much you will chat me up in another year or so. Right now you say: Momma. (And Jasmine always adamantly replies to you, if you say it in her vicinity: "I'm NOT your MOMMA!" ha!) Dat-da (almost always whispered excitedly.) Alldu (all done.) Ball. You've just started yesterday signing "please" with your hands. You wave (your WHOLE arm) bye bye. Blow kisses. And your new fav is hand-over-mouth-repeatdly as you make noise. (You learned that in the car on our way to Papa & Granny's this last weekend. I did it to you to help calm you down on the long drive. And then all of us started doing it together for like 10 mins. Everyone thought it was hilarious. So you love to do it now.)
a year and 6 hours ago, you were born.
And it was good!
look at you go!