BY BARBARA BAPTISTE
Two weeks ago, I went back home. But, where is home? The famous “they” say, “Home is where the heart is.” For me, it is in two places, the Southeast and the Northeast. I have lived in Florida for eight years. I have a husband, one of my three sons and an 18-month-old granddaughter in Florida (along with a cat and dog); my oldest son and three grandchildren live in NJ; and my youngest son moved to New York City two years ago, and enter OnSwipe. Please indulge the proud mom of…
My youngest son, Jason, was born when my oldest son, John, was a freshman at Georgetown and middle son, Joseph, was in High School. Though I was happily “surprised” by the news of Jason’s impending arrival in the world, many were concerned about how I would handle going back to square one….I was not….worried at all. I had years of experience in being a mom. I loved what I did. I didn’t just raise my kids; I made it a career.
My doctor offered amniocentisis. I asked if there would be any value for the baby. He said no. I asked if the only option and reason was, in case of anything wrong, an abortion. The doctor said, “That’s it.” I replied, “I’ll just pray.” Of course, once I took the doctor off of the hook, he was quite supportive and said that having had two other healthy children and myself being in excellent health there was no reason to think that the baby would be anything but just fine.
Jason was born healthy and happy. Having this child was different than the older two. Most of my friends were off to work and vacationing on an island, while I was changing diapers and back to Disney World. Life was different.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first two sons. Jason, for me, was a bonus. I got to do it all a little bit more securely. I wasn’t concerned about the me-reflection thing. In other words, I still focused on the important issues; i.e., brushing teeth, schoolwork, manners, but the inconsequential trivalities fell by the wayside–for example: When my first son was a baby, if company was expected, it would seem like a bad mark on my invisible Good Mom Chit Sheet if he was not in bed asleep when the adults arrived at 8:00 p.m. A much more secure adult, with Jason, I thought, “If they don’t like it, they can go home!”
As the first few weeks of Jason’s life went on, I found myself getting up at the (for anyone who knows me) unGodly hour of 6:00 a.m. with an infant and going to bed well after midnight, while waiting for my teenager to come home. “Something has to change,” I thought. “I am exhausted and it is not fair to tell my 16 year old he cannot have friends over and needs to be quiet in the evening.” So, what did I decide? Jason would take a nap at the time most kids were getting ready to go to bed for the night. Basically, I put the toddler on a teenage schedule. He went to bed at midnight and slept til after 10:00 a.m. How did this work out? Perfectly. We were all happy campers. By the time pre-school came around, John and Joseph were both in college and Jason went to bed normal time–though, I have to admit, he has always preferred night life! It is no wonder that Jason absolutely loves living in Manhattan, his circadian rhythm functioning in sync with the city that never sleeps!
Though doctors and friends may have been concerned, I always knew this child of mine would be special. I am happy to report that the proof is in the pudding when you read the article (one of many). I am proud, with good reason, of all three of my sons.
A number of years ago, putting pen to paper, in a nutshell I expressed my feelings. I tucked it away. When packing up my life and relocating eight years ago, along with their baby books, I gave this sentiment to each of My Three Sons (which my oldest son borrowed and took poetic license for his children in the dedication of his own book.)
John is in my soul……Joseph has my heart……Jason is my life. I love you all, undyingly. Mom