One of the only things my mother – your grandmother – said to me that ever made any sense was this: “wow, you sure do have to learn everything the hard way, Rebecca.” I don’t think she was being unkind, considering I’d just dumped my cheating boyfriend, scrapped my lifelong dream of becoming a doctor, and pushed a squalling infant – your biggest brother – out of my vagina. I was twenty years old. That was before I then dropped my nursing career for an illustrious “career” as a blobber and popped out two more crotch parasites, so yeah, it’s safe to say that your grandmother was right on the money there.
And, I fear, it’s probably genetic.
Because the moment that doctor informed me that there was something wrong with your head, it reminded me of this: life is unexpected.
Had the pill not failed me, I never would have gotten knocked up with your biggest brother, which means I would be Dr. Aunt Becky (that’s Mommy to you) by now. In that one tiny moment, my life was forever altered.
That’s the way life works. It’s in those unexpected moments that we discover who we really are; who we are really supposed to be. Maybe it’s not what we planned or what we thought we’d be doing, but it’s beautiful and it’s ours. I don’t expect you to take my word for it. Go ahead, find out for yourself. You already have.
At a couple of days gestation, thanks to some wonky issues that no one understands entirely (folic acid deficiency plays a part), your neural tube didn’t properly fuse and that big skull of yours didn’t quite get put together the way a skull should. Then, your beautiful brain started to grow outside your skull cavity, necessitating some pretty heavy neurosurgery when you were a wee babe. That moment, at a couple of days gestation, forever altered everything.
Thanks to that one unexpected moment, a whole host of things happened. A cascade effect. The best of which is this: you now have a cadre of Auntie and Uncle Pranksters who will kick the ass of anyone who needs it for you (never, ever underestimate the power and love of The Pranksters). You’ve also helped put a face to your disorder, encephalocele, and you gave me the idea for Band Back Together.
Pretty good work for a two-year old.
I’m so proud of you, Amelia (or, as you like to call yourself “Nie-Nie”). Having a daughter was one of those lofty goals, like “having a discernible waistline” that I thought I could never achieve, and here you are. Even as I delivered you, I expected the doctor to tell me that you had a penis. I just couldn’t imagine I’d be so lucky as to have a daughter.
And yet here you are. My Miracle Mimi, the girl with the curls like a halo, she is here. Kicking ass, taking names, and probably going to murder me in my sleep over a pair of high heels.
I can hardly wait to see what you’ll do next. Unless it’s murder me. Which I really wish you wouldn’t do.
Happy Birthday, Sweet, Slightly Scary, Always Wonderfully Awesomely Ass-Kicking Baby Nie-Nie.
It’s you + me against the world, kiddo. So watch the fuck out, world.