One year ago today, I turned 25. I didn’t have a quarter life crisis that seems to be in vogue these days, but as far as years of my life go, last year may be the worst, the longest and the hardest yet.
This time last year, all our possessions were packed in boxes ready to move to our newly purchased house. Evangeline was 1 year, 10 months old, Felicity 3 months and Reuben was just a positive pregnancy test I hesitated to take. The night before we got the phone call that would turn our world frantic, I lay in bed simultaneously trying to accept and deny the knowledge of the new life already growing. I turned to Ryan and said “well, I guess now it really is a good thing we decided to go ahead and buy a bigger house.”
That was it. That was the temptation fate couldn’t resist.
The next day, we got a call from our Realtor that ultimately forced us to let the house go two days before closing. Our landlord’s hands were tied; he was happy to work with us, except he had already rented our house to someone else who would be ready to move in that weekend.
Boxes in storage and toothbrushes in hand, my growing family of vagabonds moved into my parents’ house. If it weren’t for my uncompromisingly generous parents, I’m not sure what we would have done. After about a week, we felt that we had to explain to them the real reason I kept crying all the time–still in my secret first trimester and only three months recovered from pre-ecclampsia, my blood pressure was already rising. We had to tell my parents about the baby.
I don’t think I can stomach recounting the weeks that passed after; we publicly announced the pregnancy at Evangeline’s October birthday party. By Thanksgiving, we had another house lined up and we celebrated Christmas in our new house.
We started 2013 discussing names for our son and making arrangements for my doctor-ordered bed-rest. January through April blurred together into an excruciatingly long and anxious wait, never quite knowing what the next doctor’s appointment would bring. Finally we made it to third trimester, we made it to May and we made it to 39 weeks. After languishing in labor for 8 hours, I was delivered of my third child. Reuben was ours to care for.
This summer has been a monotonous rotation of bottles, diapers, rocking, babies cries and toddler’s injuries. My health is slowly on the mend and is laying out another long road ahead of us. I never want to repeat a year like this last one.
As I turn 26 I can only cry out and plead that we be excused from another year of so many trials. Yet, ending this year truly gives us a lot to celebrate. I knew Ryan would be a wonderful husband and terrific father when I chose to marry him. I relish that this is true and regret that he has been given so many occasions to prove it. Lesser friends have deserted during much less than what Ryan has supported me through. In the trenches of daily life, it is his laughter I prize the most. If it weren’t for the back breaking trials of this past year, I would only have my age to celebrate today. Instead, I celebrate true friendship and the best man I could have hoped to marry.
There is none with which I would rather struggle or celebrate than Ryan. Non nisi te