Hoping For Happiness

Last night the baby currently residing inside of my torso began kicking the shit out of me. I’m not sure what gets him going, but every night at 8 PM he starts and doesn’t let up until about 11:30 PM. Em was exactly the same way, during the same time, so I’m used to it. And normally I love it. Having been through one miscarriage and then worrying everyday for months at the beginning of this pregnancy, I have grown to need those movements. It’s his way of saying, “Hey, mom! I’m still in here! I’m OK!” (Let’s hope he extends the same courtesy when he’s a texting teenager and out with his friends.)

Yeah, normally I love those movements. They are my lighthouse. They keep my eyes and mind onshore.

But last night I was beat. I’ve been working my ass off fulfilling lollipop orders. On top of the huge influx of holiday orders I’ve gotten, I’m fulfilling my biggest custom order ever. It’s for a company holiday party in Manhattan. I’m super excited about it. I think it will open up a whole new avenue for my business. But, holy balls it’s been a lot of work! I’ve been working 14-hour days.

So last night when Gangsta baby (AKA Kiki) began moving around, I just wanted stillness. My body has been aching all over. It’s worse at night and I just wanted it to feel weightless. But he kept on going.

“You gotta feel this, Toby.”

Toby put his hand on my belly and Kiki moved, kicked, poked, and high-fived us both.

“Wow.” Toby commiserated. “He’s an active one!”

“Yeah. Crazily so.” I sighed. “We’re gonna have another Emory on our hands, aren’t we?”

“Let’s hope so.” He said quietly.

If we end up with another Em, we’ll be the luckiest two parents alive. He may not sleep well. (Never has.) And he may be crazy active. But he’s smart, kind, and gracious. He’s funny. He’s sweet. He’s outgoing when he needs to be, and quiet when he doesn’t.

And, oh my! Is he ever happy. Every parent says they want a healthy child. And naturally, I agree with that statement. But happiness is definitely up there. There are few better things in life than happiness.

Toby and I talk about how we’re raising Em often. My biggest concern is finding a balance between telling him that he should and absolutely can remain happy, and letting him know that life isn’t always going to be awesome. We both feel we need to let him know that sometimes the people he shares this life with will occasionally make happiness hard to come by. That’s just the way it is out there. And I hope that no matter how much crap is thrown his way, he’ll find a way to remain happy beneath it all. Because I look around me these days, and I see a whole lot of unhappy people. And it bugs me so.

I just wish people were happier.

Last night I kind of panicked. And I’m sure this is normal. But I thought, What if our second son isn’t as happy as Em? What if our second son isn’t as kind? What if Em changes becauseof our second son?

Oh dear. What have we done?

Up until we met Em, we wanted just one kid. But he’s such a social creature. He doesn’t particularly like to be alone. He seems to need and thrive on companionship. (In this respect, he’s a great deal like me. Not so much like his father.) So, we changed our minds.

I’ve mentioned this before, that we wanted to give him someone who would be there for him no matter what happens to Toby and me. And, yes. I realize that I have no real way of knowing that this will actually happen. That’s the risk one takes when one changes the family dynamic. But I am willing to bet that with our help, we can help them forge a great relationship.

Basically, taking that chance was more important to us than not giving him one at all. It became of the utmost importance to me that he have someone other than crotchety old us.

Incidentally, this is precisely why I sunk into a deep depression whenever we were trying to have a second baby and could not. While I’m sure I would have eventually come to terms with this had it not worked out, not being able to give Em a brother or sister felt not like I was failing myself, but like I was failing Em. This might be why dealing with secondary infertility can be so utterly devastating. And while I don’t presume to know what it’s like to not be able to have one child, I do know what it feels like when one feels as though they are failing the one they do have. And it sucks, my friends. Pain and suffering is relative and the pain of facing that possibility was some of the worst I’ve ever experienced.

Those suffering from secondary infertility don’t often feel comfortable talking about it because there are others without any children. But we’re out here and our pain is very real.

But I digress.

Ultimately, I just want my kids to be happy. And if we end up with another Em, no matter how hyperactive he may be and how achy I may feel after a long ass day, I’d be so totally OK with that. Because he’s happy.

So, yes please; give us another Emory.