April 25th, 2008 marked an important day in my life: my son was born! He turned 9 yesterday. He is full of life, joy, kindness and every single adjective you can add related to love. This blog is dedicated to him. I found in my old files a letter I wrote in 2006 to my future child not knowing if I ever was going to have him or not. Here it is:
“To Little Mary or Little Justin:
Hello baby. Here I am writing to you a letter so you know that you were planned. I don’t know if I should write to you in English or Spanish, but I guess your dad will translate this to you so you can understand it. To be honest I have never been sure if I want to be a mom. There are days that I want and others not. I am very happy with your dad with the way things are. You will know him some day.
Your dad and I are extremely silly. We love being together, we like watching TV, we pretend to be babies and we love our freedom, and that’s why we don’t have you yet. At the same time we want you with us so we can see who you will be when you are grown up. We are curious because your dad and I are very different physically and culturally.
Even not knowing if you will be ever born, we have already given you names, but they might change. If you are a girl, we want to call you Patricia Elisa, and if you are a boy Oso Patrick. This last name caused some discussions with friends. But at the end, I am the mother and I can put whatever name I want. When you are 18, you can change it if you want.
Today is March 1st, 2006 and I want to write to you, so that when you are older you can see how I felt. I have to tell you that I am terrified of having you naturally. I really don’t know why, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I am 31 years old, and I should have had you long time ago, but I still have so much to do with your dad by ourselves. Time is running out, and soon we will have insurance, so I guess the time is coming soon.”
And that was it for that letter. 16 months later I got pregnant and 9 months later the baby was born. Those 16 months were preparation. Yes, my husband got a teaching job, and we got health insurance, which helped with the cost of delivery. In July 2007, we went on the Inca Trail in Peru as our last crazy adventure before deciding to get pregnant. I found a doctor who would understand my fear of delivery, so I was sure I wanted a c-section. And I kept journaling in a little notebook, which right now is unreachable, but I will look for it when it is time to rearrange the basement and see what else I wrote there and share it with you.
I am very surprised as I was writing this blog. It looks like I was not planning to raise my kid bilingual, which I am surprised because I swear that was the plan. So who knows? But at the end, when he was here with us, I tried my best to raise him bilingual, and it didn’t work for me. It worked for many people; I’m not sure if I didn’t try hard or what, but I accept that fact and I keep going. He knows very basic Spanish, and every day I still try to introduce my first language into his life.
So which name did we pick? We named him Osso Patrick Siddall. Originally he was going to be Oso, but many people in my family did not agree with that name because “oso” means bear. So I agreed to change it a little bit. My son carries his name with pride, and hopefully he still will in the future. I have loved bears for a long time; they are strong but cute, and I feel the same way about my son.
Did we lose our freedom having him? The freedom changed. We still travel and go out, but not as often as before, but we are okay with that. It was time to create a new chapter in our lives, and we are very happy we did it.
He is an old soul; he is our teacher who constantly reminds us of what love means. He understands our fears and goes with it patiently. He expresses his opinion in the most kindly matter. He is mature and silly, he loves life, himself and God. He dreams every day about the world being in total harmony, and that’s why he makes comics according to him.
He has complained a couple of times what is not fair, especially when it is about not having a birthday party. To give you an example, he had birthday parties his first 3 years. When he was 1, I rented a shelter at a park; the night before the party, I found out the playground was being remodeled. I totally freaked out, but angels are always around, and a friend of mine saved us and lent us her new house to celebrate there. The second year, we did it in another park, and a blizzard came, temperatures dropped and we barely played and sang “Happy Birthday” before it was time to go. The third year I was not going to put up with parks and weather conditions, so I planned the party at an indoor place to do a martial arts class. What could go wrong? Well, nobody arrived to open the place. The person who was going to give the class had a seizure. Having many people waiting outside, I just made a quick decision, and moved the party to the closest park.
After 3 years of planning parties and going so different from the way I planned them, I decided not to do anymore birthday parties. Every year I convinced Osso to just do something between us, and that is what we did for the next 5 years. But he is growing, he makes his own decisions and this year he said that he will have a party. So he will have a tiny party at my house, and guess what: I am not invited! LOL. Which I am fine with; with me there, the kids probably won’t have as much fun, so I will be gone for a couple of hours.
I just wanted to share with you a little bit of my story, my planning, my fears, and my reality. When this blog is published, we will already have had his birthday, and I am sure it will be a great one again, full of balloons and love.
Whatever is your story, with kids or not, don’t forget to live, laugh and love. To trust, to accept your fears and let them go. Your TrueSelf will appreciate it. I will see you next Wednesday; if you don’t see me it is because I had a heart attack after the birthday party seeing how my tiny townhome with 7 boys ended up!