In high school I fantasized about my future. I would have one son named Justus and a daughter named Saphira. Those names were carefully thought out and inspired by Cosmo Magazine's Horoscopes. The Cosmo astrological issue was always my favorite. Since I was born in September and my astrological sign is Libra. The sign is the scales which lines up with my value of fairness and justice. Hence, my boy’s name would be “Justus” (a creative spin-off of Justice). My September birthstone is the beautiful blue Sapphire. So my daughters name would be "Saphira". At that time I had no knowledge of who the father of said children would be. Choices at the time would be my crush Charlie Sheen (this was before he got icky) or the much under rated singer from the band Wham - Andrew Ridgeley, I also secretly lusted over Michael Hutchence (RIP) from INXS.
I wrote those names constantly in my Trapper Keeper at school, over and over again in big fat curly hand writing enclosed in hearts, Justus & Saphira.
So I guess I manifested the two creatures that are my off-spring today. Not Justus and Saphira, but with the input of my now husband (not Charlie, Andrew or Michael), (but someone who does have the same musical tastes as me), we chose the names Xander and Chloe.
The process for choosing my first child's name was not easy. Heeding all advice for new parents, my husband and I took a tropical vacation for two weeks to Cancun while I was five months pregnant. We also took with us two baby name books. We pledged we would not leave that topical paradise until we had a name for our son. After much deliberation and admiration over Vin Diesel’s portrayal in XXX, the derivative of the name Alexander (which my husband didn’t fancy) but had a wonderful meaning, we decided on the name Xander for my first son. His middle name would be "Lee" as we could not find a good middle name to start with “y”. So his initials could be XYZ. To choose my daughter’s name we referred to baby name books as well, but could not escape to a tropical paradise.
As a matter of fact when I was pregnant with her, my husband and I decided to make a major move from the smaller city we lived in to a much larger city. It was driven by our desire to be closer to family and to ramp up our careers. In retrospect it was a gutsy, and a good move for us. At the time it was so stressful to pack, move, sell our home, apply for jobs and try and begin our new life while pregnant and taking care of a nearly two year old baby. I remember having to call a friend to help and watch my young son while I packed. I had thrown out my back in the stress of it all. Almost immediately after that I had to spend two nights in the hospital to bring down a fever that I am sure was brought on by gulping too much Starbucks to keep a-chugging. Maybe that is why my daughter is obsessed with Starbucks.
In all that hub bub, as I collected little girl decor, we decided on the name of Chloe Marie (she shares my middle name) and we had our baby girl almost exactly two years apart from our son. The years after that are an exhausted blur.
In present day, they are 15 and 13. Little blips of the past creep in and I remember some moments (thanks to Facebook memories) but honestly, I was just so tired and making every effort to keep them safe and alive when they were younger. It felt as if I were on suicide watch. I only left them alone when they were sleeping, but even then I checked in on them to make sure they were breathing. (I was really obsessed with keeping them alive). I can remember one of the few moments I left them alone. My little ones were very early risers, I could hear their little voices, but I craved my sleep, so I kept my eyes closed and one ear to the ground. It was in the wee hours and I guess my 6 and my 4 year old had been up playing together for a while. I stumbled out of bed bleary eyed, resolute in my duties for the day; feed them, keep them safe, play, learn and repeat. But once my morning coffee had kicked in I noticed something about my daughter looked different. It was her hair. My son had cut her her long reddish golden locks off. You may wonder how I didn’t notice this immediately, but my sleepy eyes perceived her hair was tucked in her pjs. This was a major freak out moment for me because it took so long for my daughter to grow her hair out (she was a bald baby for quite a while). In the end, we got it looking pretty good and she actually became a trend setter at her day school. The first to sport a bob.
Silver linings.... we’ve been thinking a lot about those lately haven’t we?
During this Pandemic situation on Mother’s Day, I can smile now hearing my 15 and 13 year old children out playing on the trampoline, swimming in the backyard or riding their bikes or skateboards. Their giggles still alert me of silliness to pay attention to, and I am still making all efforts to keep them alive, feed them and play, but the learning has been reversed. Now I learn from THEM everyday. I learn a lot about what’s cool, I learn about “ hacks, science and technology, but mostly I learn about compassion and unconditional love.
That is something my younger self could never have predicted about being a mother.
I hope you have a great Mother’s Day,