Thursday, November 25, 2010


On this last Thankful Thursday, and Thanksgiving in the United States, it is time to talk just a little about what I am most Thankful for.

Hubby and I, when we were first married in 1991, seemed to take turns being ready to have kids—or rather, when his sister had her first baby when we were first engaged, he got sort of baby-excited. But I think that was because he safely knew I was in no way ready. Then in 1993 my grandpa was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma—a painful bone cancer... and I got it in my head that I wanted him to get to be a great grandparent before he died. Hubby wasn't ready anymore. In fact we really argued about it for a while, but in the end, waited a little longer, but I stayed primed, so the minute he said, 'maybe we can think about it' I started prepping and the minute he said 'okay' I was in.

You know how many times it took? Once. Maybe twice. But that first month it worked... and MAN, it maybe shouldn't have, because once it was done, we dived into a spiral of marital difficulties. See... hubby has some demons... In fact I'd venture to say his legion of them is larger than some small countries. They took a while to get into check... erm... like three years, but never mind...

NoNo was perfect. This pic is a four generation, so I love it for that, even if it isn't very flattering of anyone. I was totally paranoid when she was a baby—she was so pretty. Rosy cheeks, a little rosebud mouth... and smart. She talked early—full sentences by two, and managed synonyms if I didn't understand her (which wasn't often). I wish I had more pictures scanned—of both kids. I am lousy about pictures, and mostly have to resort to stealing from their facebook albums or I wouldn't have any pictures of them at all.

So NoNo is artistic. She has a Pisces Moon, which means she sees the world through rose colored glasses, but is pretty darned devastated when reality crashes in. She even has a creative memory, which is a little problematic. But she has charisma, humor, loyaty... she can be extremely sweet. She is gifted with words as well as having a great eye (though the redressing her mother is sometimes annoying).

When we discussed another baby, I was TERRIFIED because I didn't think it would be possible to love another person as much as I loved her.

My son was...erm... Unplanned. We wanted another, but the hubby and I had just sorted out our stuff and decided to give it a try again. I had finally finished my master's thesis and started a brand new job. We just probably would have waited six months to a year if we'd been planning... long enough I could have saved vacation time for maternity leave... long enough that hubby wasn't pissed—he was fairly angry for a while. (hello-this act takes two people).

He was too early. Both were, but the son wasn't 'cooked'. He spent his first night under lights with a feeding tube. He was jaundiced. We had to go to nursing classes because he was a 'lazy eater' so I had to learn tricks to keep him awake long enough to eat.

He was also a fussy baby... he really didn't like anyone but his immediate family. He didn't want to BE anywhere but home. He had melt-down tantrums that caused strangers to offer me help. He talked late... he really was fairly difficult until he started preschool.

But his processor is SO MUCH like mine. He's logical—the math comes naturally. As he's gotten older, it is fun to have someone whose sense of humor is so like mine—he's engaged in word play fairly automatically since he was young. He's sarcastic, but relatively good-natured.

The two don't get along particularly well... NoNo hasn't forgiven us for having another child... but they are starting to get along a little better—it has improved steadily for a couple years... about the time my daughter has been getting a little easier for ME to get along with.

Whatever the case... difficulties aside, these are my favorite people—the ones for whom I am most thankful.

And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the States. I wish for you exactly the right amount of family and food and just a little too much fun!


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Parenting is a rare form of therapeutic demon-facing on the go, isn't it? We meet dark faces of ourselves we didn't know we had until we see them reflected back at us.

But we get so much more than we put in if we stick it out, right?

Have a happy day for thanksgiving and looking forward to the Christmas/New Year festivities.

Me? I'm doing solo duty at the echo-empty blood center, baterial sampling platelets (blood products that control bleeding,) answering on-call demands, and delivering needed blood to our hospitals far flung over two states. Whew!

N. R. Williams said...

We had two accidents. Love them both. They are either the best of friends or the worst of enemies. I hope your husbands demons went off with the herd of pigs that ran into the ocean after Jesus rebuked a demon. My husband can't win any medals either. But either can I.
Happy Thanksgiving, a holiday I think the whole world should celebrate.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Deb and Barbara said...

What a beautiful, honest tribute to the vagaries of life and the people we love most in the world (who often simultaneously drive us most crazy!)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
xo B
The Middle Ages

Teresa aka JW said...

Me too!!!! On having a second child (daughter) when I already had a child (son) that I loved more than coffee and chocolate.

She is wonderful and although I probably don't love my children equally (which really bugs the Monk in me)my daughter the Doc is like an extension of my soul and my best friend. Woot!

Happy Thankful day.


Lisa said...

I really love this post for its honest approach to one of the most emotional subjects anyone can discuss.

Your children, like you, are beautiful. I hope your family enjoys a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Marieke said...

Love this post :)

Happy Thanksgiving! :)

The Words Crafter said...

If I could get paid for doing something just for fun, it would be to study sibling relationships. Interesting post!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hart Johnson said...

Roland, I'm pretty sure eventually it pays off... (kidding)--it pays, but usually in really unexpected ways.

Nancy-yes, thankfully demons have mostly been caged. On occasion they roar and take a while to sedate again, but at least they aren't roaming free.

Barbara-it can be such a mixed bag, can't it?

Teresa-it can be really hard, can't it? NoNo complains that I love her brother more. I don't, but he sure is easier to get along with. What she won't hear is--it is because he likes me back. That goes a long way.

Lisa-thank you! They are gorgeous--then again, their dad is Sirius Black, so that is to be expected.

Marieke-thank you, you too!

TWC-siblings ARE interesting. I'm an only child but always wanted a big brother. I think the daughter wouldn't mind THAT, it is the scene stealing YOUNGER that is hard to cope with.

David L Macaulay said...

This is a moving post - actually the older I get the more I think a lot of guys have demons. Women too, tho. Is this your last Thanksgiving in the US?

Hart Johnson said...

David-I think everyone has demons, but women are more likely to face them as they come than men (not always, but... you know... we emote and all). And NO, not last thanksgiving... that 'last' had to do with being the last Thursday in November. in November I've been doing 'Thankful Thursdays, but will stop when NanoWriMo is over and get back to being random me.

Guinevere said...

Aw, very cute post! Your kids are beautiful. :)

Old Kitty said...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

I love the pics of your beautiful children!!! NoNo is lovely and your son is just superb!!! I'm glad that the sibling tension is easing up a little - I have a feeling that they will end up as bestest friends the older they get!!!!

I'm very sorry to hear about your granpa. Big hugs!

Take care

Mason Canyon said...

A wonderful post for two great kids. Hope you and your family are having a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Thoughts in Progress

Cold As Heaven said...

No mercy for your turkey? Enjoy your Thanksgiving >:)

Appendix 1 - Rascals: We've got two. None were planned, but both were very welcome when they arrived. Strange how you adapt to the upcoming situation while they cook in the oven >:x

Appendix 2 - Demons: I think we all have some demons. It's just a question of how many and whether they pull in constructive or destructive directions >:N

Cold As Heaven

L'Aussie said...

This is a lovely, heartfelt post. Isn't life such a gift when you consider how parents go about deciding whether to go ahead or not.

I hope your husband's demons are under control and I hope the siblings' relationships are improving. It can take a long time - into their 20s, I'm told. (I'm still waiting, ha ha.)

Happy Thanksgiving Hart!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

What a gorgeous, heartfelt post. It so resonated with me- when one kid is perfect, can you ever love the second as much? Can love even be measured?

And I can see Nat's creativity behind thos ephotographs- both are perfect.

Grandpa said...

Thanks for sharing this Hart. Turned out to be lovely and happy for you despite bumpy roads along the way, which is part of any journey. More meaning to your thanksgiving as well I guess.

In my case we wanted a girl so much and kept trying. We ended up with three boys! Then we hoped for granddaughters, but so far gifted with two grandsons! We love them all, of course, very much

Carol Kilgore said...

Love seeing the photos of your family. Hope your Thanksgiving was marvelous.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Beautiful kids! As much as they can challenge us, it's amazing how we just can't imagine life without them...

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

LTM said...

this is so fantastic--I love it. "Nono." :D and my youngest wasn't an easy baby either, but she's now the easiest child. Oldest, easy baby; drama queen. I wonder if there's a link... ;p