Last night, we took the kids to a dinner party. It was much more of a grown up event than a kid event but our kids are kind of used to being put into grown up environments. It may be all those years of attending college classes while their parents teach or hours of hanging out in a newsroom. Whatever it was, they were holding their own thanks to very tolerant and kind hosts. Heck, they had a TRAMPOLINE in the backyard. I’m pretty sure I’ve never let my kids hang out on a trampoline before. Not a super huge one. Especially not a super huge one without a net.
Somewhere after dinner and dessert and a glass of wine, the dinner party started talking about birthdays. The kids weren’t hanging at the table anymore when I mentioned how Cameron’s birthday is April Fool’s Day. I have mentioned to friends many times before, I said the day before I didn’t want him to be born on April first. But in the end, “it’s the perfect date. It fits our family really well.”
Almost immediately, Jordan runs into the room hugs me and asked incredibly innocently: “Did you want a baby with one hand?”
There’s no moment to stop and think about what to say when your child asks you that question. Seriously.
I looked down at her (immediately with water building in my eyes) and said: “You were born exactly the way I wanted you to be born: Healthy.”
She smiled and ran away. But came back and noted that my face had turned beet red. The combination of emotion and red wine will do that do you.
The small dinner party was feeling a bit emotional from that question too. I mean, I guess I should have seen the question coming. No, I didn’t plan for a child with one hand. Yes, I wanted Jordan, one hand and all. A hand isn’t what matters in the end. But I know to Jordan, it matters.
When I put her to bed last night, I felt the need to clarify my quick statement. I curled up next to her and let her know she is exactly the kid I wanted. Every bit of her… one hand and all. A few tears ran out of my eyes and Jordan was shocked I would cry.
“Is that a happy cry Mom?”
“It is. You know you even came home from the hospital wearing a shirt that said, ‘Perfect.’”
Hugs all around. Did I want a child with one hand when she was born? No. Do I want to change the kid I got? Hell no. She’s everything I wanted and more.