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August 13, 2007

Happy Birthday 5th Birthday Isabel!
This is a pretty landmark birthday actually. For me, a child turning five represents a maturation from toddlerhood or very young child to childhood where a child has more reasoning and logic and a greater capacity for self-control. Not that it always happens at this age, but I think the possibility exists.
In many ways this has been a long five years. Isabel easily wins the prize for our most difficult child. When she cried almost constantly at the hospital, I knew it was a bad sign of things to come. Isabel has exhausted and exasperated me to points that I didn’t know existed before she was born. At the same time she has a different bond than the other girls (not stronger or better, just different) that I believe was born from the adversity. I’m sure it wasn’t easy on her to be so easily and exaggeratedly stimulated and so highly sensitive, but I believe all the holding, nursing, rocking, and dancing, even when I thought my eardrums were going to explode or at least bleed forged a special bond. There were many nights that I was in tears because she wouldn’t sleep or wouldn’t stop crying. There were many times when Lawrence and I thought that we would never get through those days and nights. They seemed endless. We did get through them and started new challenges such as powerful tantrums and potty-training difficulties. We definitely got more than we bargained for when we optimistically decided to have a second child in August 2001, right before Lawrence got “laid off” and 9/11. Maybe I can attribute all these personality quirks to the two White Russians I downed the day before Thanksgiving when I was so sure I wasn’t pregnant. No wonder we were terrified when we surprised with an unexpected pregnancy in July 2004. I wouldn’t trade Isabel for anything, though I am glad that she has toned down in some areas, like sleeping through the night and being able to talk rather than scream (not that she doesn’t still scream, it’s just less frequent). She is extraordinarily affectionate and loving; she is bright and compassionate and unique. I love my package of dynamite. I’m sure that she will bring many more challenges as she enters each new stage of her life, but I think that now we are more prepared to tackle the unexpected. We have been though the hazing already.

Isabel has been saying for months that she wanted to swim for her birthday. In a lucky coincidence, our homeschool group organizer booked a local youth park called Rainbow Lake back in June for this weekend, so I just brought all the party accessories and it was perfect. We even celebrated one of the mom’s birthdays; Isbael loves her and is so tickled that they share a birthday. (Happy Birthday to you too Sheila! Even though she isn’t a blog reader.) Happily, the pinata that we made turned out well. The carrot cake was delicious and so was the homemade ice cream that Sheila made at the park.

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