Dear Scarlett, I Promise You Weren’t Adopted

Dear Baby Girl,

A couple of nights ago your brother Malcolm woke up and needed to be rocked back to sleep. As I sat there in the dark with him snuggled against my chest, you started kicking, far more than you had all day. I smiled at the thought that he might start to notice those movements soon, and marveled at how quickly this pregnancy is going. You’ll be here before we know it.

As thrilled as I am, your impending arrival scares me, because I feel terribly unprepared. Your brother is 16 months now, and between him and work, I am tired. I’ve not had the time and energy to plan and shop and do fun things for you the way I could when I was pregnant with Mal. I swore to myself that with you being my last, I’d do a proper baby book this time, and instead the best I’ve managed is recording milestones on my Google Calendar. I have my doppler but we’ve still not gotten a recording of your heartbeat, it’s one of those things we keep saying we will do, and just haven’t gotten to with all of the work and family and holiday stuff. I’ve taken maybe one picture of my expanding belly so far. I haven’t even blogged the ultrasound pictures we do have.

Look, you gave us a little thumbs up during the scan!

O Flaherty_Sara_3

I’ve been down this road with your brother Damian, with the whole ‘youngest child syndrome’ thing, and I’m determined not to go down it again. I have very few pictures of him by himself until he was nearly a year and a half old, because with only 17 months between him and Brendan, most of my energy was focused on the active toddler. It’s not that he was any less loved, far from it, its just hard to point a camera at a smiling baby when the 2-year-old is trying to make an escape over a baby gate, or up-ending a shampoo bottle on the bathroom floor, or crying because a dog stole his snack, or one of the million other trivial details of day-to-day life. I was too busy experiencing the chaos to properly record it, but even that has it’s price. Were it not that he and Brendan look so much alike, I’d worry that Damian will think he’s adopted.

Scarlett, I swear to you, you are not adopted.

You are in some ways the most anticipated of your siblings. Everyone is thrilled about a first baby, so your sister had that. Brendan was the first boy, Damian the sweet surprise when I thought I was done. Then life and circumstances changed, and Malcolm was your daddy’s first baby, coming along 8 years after my last. But you baby girl, you are the little sister your older siblings(especially Gabby…oh my goodness especially Gabby!) have been asking for for years. All youngest children are spoiled, but being the girl everyone wanted, you’ve already made yourself stand out.

Technology has come so far since Damian was little, with camera phones and pocket-sized digital cameras I don’t think it will be as hard to keep up as it was back then. Still, if you ever start to notice there were a few less birthday pictures or a missing baby book, please don’t think it’s because the stork dropped you off, it’s just that with a big family, we may sometimes be busier living life than photographing it. You are and always will be that special youngest child.

Suburban Oblivion Comes Out of the Darkness

Paul and I had a discussion recently about my blogging, or to be more truthful, my lack of blogging. For the longest time I hated my blog. The thought of opening the text editor made me both angry and somewhat panicky, because I had to be so incredibly careful about every word I said, knowing it would all be fodder for court. Emotionally I was incredibly angry and resentful of the things going on around me, and it was out of that darkness that my last theme was developed. Paul did a great job of turning out a beautiful theme, but we recently realized that where my blog was and where I am were no longer in sync.

As I look around my blog today I am breathing a huge sigh of relief. Lighter, more airy, less clutter, less crap. Much like real life for me these days.

Things are not what I would call anywhere near ‘settled’, but for now there is at least a sense of security that I was missing for the better part of the last 2 years. I can finally breathe easier, and that feeling of constantly worrying and waiting for the next shit-storm is easing off ever so slightly.

Not content to just wait for the effects of The World’s Worst Divorce. Ever. to wear off, I have decided to make the changes I want a very conscious choice, carried out by action rather than reaction. I’m working on not dwelling on the divorce so much, although I still maintain that anyone who has been as deceitful and vindictive as my ex is due for a whopping dose of Karma-times-infinity. (Then again maybe that’s exactly *why* he got the visit from the herpes fairy, she was filling in for Karma that day.) I know, I know, I said trying to work on it. Slow process.

I came back from my recent trip to Virginia happier than I’d been in ages, and with a strong desire to revamp my blog and start fresh with it. I didn’t want to get rid of my old content, but I did want to change my focus to the road of self-discovery I am on, rather than the hell and back I have been to previously. Paul worked out a way to do all that by archiving my old content, and clearing out my categories so that what is on the main page will be new stuff instead of old. (He’s so smart sometimes!) I decided clean and simple was the way to go, so I dumped the tag cloud, lifestream and other non-essentials and stuck with links to just a few networking sites.

Now that my blog is cleaner and more focused, I can finally get back to basics with my writing as well. My focus for 2010 is to start experiencing all that life has to offer, and to learn to not take myself so seriously in the process. I want to let my inner child out to play again, and re-discover the world through her eyes. I’ve had far too much darkness in my life over the last two years, it’s time to learn to laugh again, even if it’s just at myself.

Sara, hamming it up at age 3.

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