When I look at Finny, at his amazing blue eyes in his perfect little face which just radiates with life, and fun and love and humour and excitement and enthusiasm...and...and...and.. I am so often reminded that he too was a surprise. A surprise I was not altogether enthusiastic about. Ok let me be real. I was absolutely terrified and overwhelmed by the prospect of having a 4th child when I was about to move across the country to a frozen tundra with 3 kids, five and under, no family, no friends and the knowledge that my coping skills while pregnant become minimal at best.

That pregnancy, that period of time was hard. So hard. I was very depressed and felt very crazy and very alone. And then he was born and I was overwhelmed with terrifying post-partum depression.

But from the moment he was born he was a ray of sunshine for me. I remember for instance being so sad when my mom left to return to South Africa after a visit, he was about 2 months old and PPD had already begun to set in. I felt as though my heart was broken, that I would never, ever feel ok again. I remember coming back from the airport after dropping her off and crying myself into an exhausted sleep. When I woke up I felt that awful heaviness in my heart still...I walked over to Finny's baby carrier and lifted up the blanket that was shielding him from the sun to check on him. As I did, he gave me the most radiant, wise, "all is well" smile and I could have sworn, I still would that he looked just like my mom at that moment. And I knew I would be ok. He has always had the most incredible ability to comfort and heal. His little face really does radiate healing happiness.
Anyway, every time I get sick of the fact that I am still puking,  when I get weirded out or fearful of what may lie ahead with this unexpected journey, I am comforted by the unspeakable joy my other surprise has brought into my life and I know it will be ok.
Here are a couple of Finny'isms from the last little while. He has been on a baking kick lately. Not that he wants to bake. He wants us to bake. He begged Aaron for days to make banana bread. He did not want ice-cream or candy instead. It had to be banana bread. The next day he came to me with an urgent and earnest request for "BAKKA LIAR". After a moment of confusion I realized that he was craving "Baie Lekker" (pronounced: Buy-uh Lack-uh) a South African dessert specialty of my mom.  Of course he got it since as soon as he mentioned it, I had to have it too.
The other night he came to me, begging urgently for a journal. "PLEASE MOMMY! PLEASE! I have never had a journal! " I pointed out to him that he has not been able to write for very long so we weren't intentionally snubbing him by depriving him of a leather bound book for his memoirs.
When he woke up the next morning after a late night and was less enthusiastic about starting the day, I reminded him that this was "journal day!".  Up he popped with great joy. I assured him that I would buy him a journal while he was at school. And he left with a radiant face, filled with happy anticipation.
Well apparently I’ve spent the last few months literally puking my brains out,  since I heard him walking in the door later that afternoon telling Gracie excitedly that he “couldn’t wait to see the journal mommy bought me”  all I had was…"oops.”  But I recovered fast.
“Hey baby! How about you come with me to the store so you can choose it yourself?”. It was as if I’d suggested we swing by Disney world, and skipping with excitement, we were off on our date.  As we drove to Big Lots, he confided in me that his overwhelming desire for a journal stemmed from  “just needing a place to put all his secrets”. When I asked him if I could read his journal, he paused briefly to remind me that journals were private and intended for “no one to read” but to my great joy, said, “ you can read it mommy, but just you.”
We ended up selecting a bright blue Journal For Dummies (part of the everything else for Dummies brand, you know like Spanish for Dummies,  Email for Dummies,Rare Fungal Foot Diseases for Dummies…and naturally, yes, there’s a Journal for Dummies (it has frequently misspelled words listed in the front) it was also  the only non-floral option.  When he saw the “Dummies” part he hesitated for a moment and said, “but I’m not a Dummy”. 
“Yes of course you aren’t, it’s just a joke”.
He immediately responded with, “ah…like diary of a wimpy kid? That’s ok then!” And journal for dummies it was. He’s cool like that.
As soon as he arrived home he grabbed a sharpie, inscribed his name on the cover and added a “NOT “ to the “Journal For Dummies” logo.  He’s a problem solver.
Then he got right down to recording “his secrets”.  Within a minute he was asking me how to spell a certain little girl’s name.   I was happy to oblige.  She’s a lovely girl.  (And I’m still the only one who is allowed to read his journal. So there).
intense shysmile smile

I'm reading: Finny-ismsTweet this!


Aaron said...

I kinda like him too. Thanks for this wonderful ray of sunshine as well as the other 3 and 1/3 rays.

Love you!

Libby said...

That is adorable! I hope these secrets inspire him to become a fabulous writer! Or whatever else he may want to be :-D

jill said...

I want to squish him!

Megan Gery said...

That's awesome. How I love your little Finny!

MrsM said...

Awwww-what a cutie! At least his crush is on a nice girl. Monkey has a huge crush on one of the neighbor girls but she is only nice to him if there is no one else to play with =(

Tooje said...

Your story about PPD and your sunshine being sunshine makes me reflect and wonder...did I overlook OJ's sunshine? In retrospect, I believe I had some PPD going on with him. Things were a bit topsy turvy for my family during that time of pregnancy and his first year of life. But I always attributed it to him being difficult. Maybe he wasn't...maybe I didn't look hard enough to see his sunshine. That makes me sad that I might have missed the signs and instead saw the clouds. :( all your kids do it regularly? Maybe I should suggest a journaling period each week for mine. Please share...or point me to a post you've written about it. :)

Anonymous said...

AWWW!! How did I miss this one? He is just too too cute. I remember that you always said that he was a healer of the spirit. That is a wonderful gift to have. May he always be your little local ray of sunshine.