When I was pregnant with Neve, Spencer had a hard time comprehending the process. He wasn't curious about how the baby got into my belly or how it was going to come out; instead he puzzled over who the baby was going to be. In his almost-four-year-old mind, he thought she must be someone we already knew, no matter how many times we told him it was going to be a brand new person who'd never existed before. Many times during the last month or two of my pregnancy, he would ask, "But who is it going to be?"
At the time, he went to Sioban's awesome home daycare. There was a little girl who also went there who was a bit of a bully. Let's call her Kayla. She wasn't his favourite.
One day when he came home from a particularly frustrating day, he asked his usual question.
"We don't know who the baby is yet. We'll have to wait and see," I told him for the hundredth time.
He sighed deeply and said, "I sure hope it's not going to be Kayla."
Spencer was very relieved not to be holding Kayla.
Neve was our little bonus baby. Still is, in fact. We thought we were finished after two kids but then we reconsidered. We hemmed and hawed for months (years, even) and weighed the pros and cons. Finally, I got some wise advice from Teresa who said something to the effect of, "Don't ask yourself if you want another baby and all the work that goes with it; instead ask yourself if you want another older child. The baby years last such a short time but you'll have an older/adult child for the rest of your life."
Thinking about the big picture was very good advice indeed and nine months later, Neve was born. Okay, maybe not exactly nine months, but Neve at least partially owes her existence to Teresa.
My only regret is that we didn't have her five years sooner. Imagine if she turned 22 on 2/22/2022. That would be the best thing ever.
While looking through Neve's baby pictures, I'm reminded of how she was everyone's favourite toy. There's a picture of her in a doll cradle. There's one of her in the baby swing with headphones on, listening to an old walkman (set up by one of the kids). There's one of Chloe taking Neve's blood pressure with the toy doctor set. One of newborn Neve dressed in a princess crown and accessories. And many, MANY pictures of Chloe holding her possessively. We loved that baby from the start. I guess I could just post the pictures instead of describing them, but that means digging through digital files or scanning the prints. Ain't nobody got time for that.
We still love that baby. She's a good kid. She works hard in school and at play. She writes sweet notes. She loves popcorn and chocolate. Gymnastics is her passion and she's always flipping and twisting and handspringing around. She's always up for a challenge or for an episode of Gilmore Girls. She loves her sister and brother and is excellent at folding laundry and making smoothies. She also has a soft spot for cats, Bean in particular. As she makes the transition from little girl to pre-teen to the teenage years, I'm enjoying every ounce of "little girl" while I can. There's lot to look forward to, but why rush it?
The celebrating started last night with some family over for birthday cake. It was a good turnout for a Tuesday night. we were delightfully surprised to have my nephew bring a friend ... that was actually more exciting than Neve's birthday. (He's an awesome, funny, good dude; the surprise is just because he seemed pretty comfortable with his single life).
My picture-taking was not on point.
The partying continued today with scones for breakfast, home for lunch and a partial episode of Gilmore Girls, and bringing cookies to school. Things were dampened (literally) by having to go to swimming lessons. Due to pool renovations, it's only a six-week session so we don't want to miss any classes (plus I like to run during that time).
Dinner was at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Chloe had to work, but joined us as soon as she was done. Finally at 9:15 p.m., we were all home together for the first time and Neve opened her gifts. We gave her a gymnastics mat, which we're hoping with all of our hearts will muffle all the jumping and bouncing she does upstairs. It's the gift that keeps on giving. I hope.
The last piece of the birthday puzzle is her party with friends. That doesn't happen for another 10 days, so we'll take a break from partying until then.
|Sweet baby Neve twelve years ago|