9 years ago today I was sitting on the couch in the dining room, getting ready to take Emily to the zoo. I stood up and sploosh (yep, that was the sound it made) my water broke. 7 hours later Mary Jo was born.
Mary was by far, my easiest labour and my easiest delivery. She was also 9 days early. I am convinced it's because a few days earlier we'd gone on a very bumpy sleigh ride to get a real Christmas tree.
My water broke at about 8:30 in the morning and I didn't start having contractions until 1:30pm. By the time they got painful enough to get an epidural it was too late to get one and I was ready to push. And it was only 3:30 pm. Two pushes later, there she was
Mary has been full of spunk since the day she was born. Her personality reflects her red hair and she keeps me on my toes. She's funny, smart, beautiful, caring, generous and loving. She's a fabulous big sister to Connor and a great little sister to Emily. And she knows just how to push everyones buttons to make them crazy. I wouldn't trade her for the world. And I can't believe she's 9 already. We've reached that point where she's in between little kid and big kid. I had a few parents ask me what she'd like for her birthday and this year, I was at a total loss. She still likes toys (sometimes) but she also likes the 'big kid' stuff like shopping, iPods and brand name clothes (though she's still too tiny to shop at a lot of those stores)
We had her birthday party yesterday. That was an interesting experience. We had a luau themed party, which in the end worked out to be grass skirts and lei's, a tiki themed cake and a tiki pinata. We also had a daiquiri bar (smoothies) and fruit kabobs. I do have to pat myself on the back because besides the chocolate in the pinata (one of her friends has a peanut allergy so I couldn't fill the pinata with a standard pinata filler - I had to buy the safe/peanut free stuff) I managed to throw a birthday party with fruit as the snacks and the kids were begging for more. Ha ha, jokes on them...they had healthy stuff at a party.
I told Mary earlier in the day that while her friends were here I'd wear my scarf (I don't wear it at home) so her friends wouldn't be wigged out (no pun intended) by her bald mom. She told me I didn't need to, all her friends knew her Mom had cancer and that she had no hair. I opted to wear it anyway, more so because for the most part, I don't think the parents knew and I didn't want to shock them at the door.
I was right. It wasn't so apparent with the parents of the kids I didn't know since they'd never met me (and vice versa) so I couldn't gauge their expressions but with the parents of the kids I do know. I could see the change in their eyes. The realization. The "Oh, my!" I actually joked with Sean because one of the Dad's came and was walking with a cane and I said to Sean "I really wanted to know what was up with the cane and he really wanted to know what was up with the head scarf and neither of us asked"
What I find the most interesting is the kids reaction. Kids amaze me. They are so non chalant, relaxed and matter of fact. I remember being worried the first time Mary's bff slept over after I'd shaved my head. She's known me for most of her life and to see me the first time with no hair I expected a bit of a double take, stare or even a blatant "Whoa, you look weird!" (because she's comfortable enough with us to say that without it being taken the wrong way) but there was none of that. It was almost as if she didn't even notice I was bald. And Mary's friends were the same way, they didn't even seem to notice the head scarf or lack of hair. I sometimes think adults could take a lesson from kids. Not that the reaction from adults bothers me - mostly - but I can't stand the head tilt/sympathy look. Don't feel sorry for me. Sure it sucks but I'm not sitting around feeling sorry for myself and I don't want pity from anyone. This is a bump in the road of my life and it's going to make me and my family stronger when it's all said and done.
Anyhow, the party was a great success. Mary and her friends had a blast. I'm sure my neighbours wanted to call the cops because there were seven 9 year old girls in the backyard screaming at the top of their lungs. And my beautiful, intelligent, bundle of energy was the loudest of them all.
And I wouldn't trade that for anything....well, some earplugs maybe.