And He’s Here, and He’s Marvelous.

I was going to post my Diggin’ For Dinos recipe today, until I realized I had something better.

Don’t worry – if you want to go Diggin’ for Dinos. I’ll post that in honor of the new Jurassic World movie. And yes, we are taking Des to see that, even though the original Jurassic Park came out when I was 14 and scared the life out of me. Des is a different bird. (raptor) AND, Des is six. Today. At 5:32 tonight, but who’s counting? And it has been a glorious six years.

Here is how I announced his birth on my blog:

Well, one week and five days early, Desmond Blaze Bowman graced us with his presence yesterday, June 13th, at 5:32 pm. He’s a whopping 8 pounds and 5 ounces, 21 inches long, so I’m pretty curious as to how big he’d be if he went to 40 weeks or beyond..

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We’ll never know and I think we’d never have known..he was pretty determined to enter the world a bit early. He’s wonderfully cute and eats and sleeps an impressive amount of the time. He spends the rest of his life trying desperately to make eye contact with me and making ewok sounds that are so cute I was literally up all night last night because I was dying of cuteness overload. I’m a writer and a photographer, so you can expect my birth story with pictures shortly. Unfortunately I’m still an inmate..er..patient at the hospital until at least tomorrow. So consider this an I.O.U. for something bigger and better and more. For now, I will show you a glimpse of what it was like to meet my Desmond:

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I really couldn’t write it better than that, could I?

Here is what I wrote about him after I had known him for four days. And I think it’s all resonant today:

Four days out. No. Four days IN.

I don’t yet have the mental, emotional or physical capacity to saturate my blog with the story of your INSANE roller coaster emergence into this world, as well as photos of your amazingly soulful eyes and your cute black hair and your super long toes and your tiny hands and your..and your..and your..I could go on forever and ever and probably will soon.

And your mellow demeanor and sleepiness. The way you burp. The way you sigh and hiccup while you nurse. The way so many parts of you are so like your older sister’s parts, but boy versions. Everyone calls you handsome and mellow.

They say your live up to your namesake, Desmond Tutu – an astonishing man for sure:

“I am deeply, deeply distressed that in the face of the most horrendous problems — we’ve got poverty, we’ve got conflict and war, we’ve got HIV/AIDS — and what do we concentrate on? We concentrate on what you are doing in bed.” –Archbishop Desmond Tutu

I don’t have the heart to tell them that you are more named for the most romantic hero I ever, ever saw or read in TV, movies and literature. Desmond Hume from LOST. Another astonishing man, for sure, just in a different way:

“I love you, Penny. I’ve always loved you. I’m so sorry. I love you!” –Desmond Hume from LOST

Sigh and swoon.

My life has been so changed in the last four days. Physically, wow. I walk non-pregnant through our house, and I’ve never been non-pregnant in this house. I can bend over and paint my toenails. I can chase Scarlet without tiring. I took the heartburn medication out of my purse. I don’t think I’ll be needing it anymore. I am 15 pounds lighter.

My heart is 15 million pounds heavier.

What astonishes me so much is that before you were born, I was worried we wouldn’t bond right away. I was worried I couldn’t possibly feel for you what I feel for your sister. At least, not at first. I was worried that everyone else in our so rich lives that loves your sister wouldn’t be able to wrap their minds and hearts around you as well.

I was so, so, so wrong.

It came so fiercely and so fast. I’m so in love with you and so is everyone who meets you. You are going to move mountains and change lives. You and your sister, man. Lottery baby #1 and Lottery baby #2. How the heck did we ever get so lucky? Your father and I…we do good things when together. And now we have double proof of that. You are our Desmond.

“Golden slumbers fill your eyes
Smiles awake you when you rise
Sleep pretty darling do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby”
– The Beatles

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Happy, Happy Birthday, Des.

I Am Number Four.

Now that I’m a parent, I wonder a lot about how time felt to my parents when I was a kid.

I feel like youth stretched on nearly forever for me. Long days and long, glorious years with the promise of so much more time. It’s not that I thought I’d never get older..but well..I guess I kinda did think that even with all of that time spent, there’d be an endless supply to come. Even with Scarlet as a baby I felt her first year took nearly a lifetime. I thought we were only having her, but maybe a part of me knew otherwise that there’d be another baby to grow. It is only now, with him included in the mix, that I panic just a bit.

I hear people with older kids say that their six-year-olds have already completed half of their childhood, and are one third of the way to adulthood. My blogger friend wrote about how we have (more or less) Eighteen Summers with them until they’re off and running. I know it comes back around. I know I spent those totally long college summers with my parents after 18. I know that nowadays we make most of our travel plans around our parents, who are now grandparents. It’s just the mathematical facts placed around our children’s childhoods. The knowledge that you can use up 18 summers in the blink of an eye, and surprise, you don’t get 18 more.

What did it feel like to my parents while I lazed in the sun seemingly forever? Was it like a flash of heat lightning?

Today, Scarlet is four-years-old. It means so much to me that she’s four. I feel like everything I ever did with her mattered, but now, she may remember everything alongside of me. She may remember that I let her dress like this to go to the library and Target:

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She may remember my bedtime stories about Minimus – the winged horse, and the quiet village of Rainbow Kingdom. My stories of doors in the floors that take you to places of your wildest imagination. She may remember that I always give her the bigger cookie.

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She may remember my delight in her imagination. And how I reached for the camera when she took a leopard print headband from my sister and turned it into a fashionable belt. She doesn’t like having her picture taken because she always says she doesn’t need photos to remember. And while I hope that’s true that she will remember everything firsthand..

..I hope one day she knows why I do it anyway and why I will never stop.

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What can I say, really? Deep love mixed with grief for everything I lost, and hope for everything she’ll gain during this year of her life. Deep healing for everything I lost, and what I gained through my mom and my dad who raised me, and my own growing family.

What does four-years-old mean right now?

– It means her saying, “Chill down, everyone” when anyone’s upset. A lovely mix of “chill out” and “calm down.”

– It means that Sofia the First is her favorite show.

– It means she doesn’t like goodbyes, so people say, “See you later” instead.

– It means she loves to dance and in a crowd of classmates during a fast pop song, she twirled and swayed like a slow motion ballerina while everyone danced in fast speed around her.

– It means that every time she tries new candy or junk food she thinks she’s being brave by trying new food and quotes the song from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood about how “You gotta try new foods ’cause they might taste gooood.”

– Four means that she wants a real cat named Dinah.

– She likes tickle scratches on her back.

– She overuses the word “actually.”

– She made up a new term – “bootie dot.” It basically means anus. I kid you not.

– Even if Des has just gotten up, if he annoys her she says it’s his naptime again.

She’s very close with Cassidy. It’s great. I know I get her five days a week all to myself while he’s at work. I know we are friends. However when she talks about him, she calls him “My Dada.” I’m just “Mama.” Last week it finally happened. We had a special day together. I bought her a cookie. We cuddled on the couch. I heard her tell her grandmother, “I had a good day with My Mama.

I had waited so long to hear those words..

Just like her favorite sunflowers in our garden, she grows ever taller towards the sun. And I can’t stop her. I won’t stop her. All I can do is join her in the light.

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