Hey, um, excuse me? I’ve been crying here for quite some time. Can you even hear me above the ruckus? Can someone just get me already? I know, I know, probably not. Something always comes first. I’m the third-born.
I was born on a lovely snowy day in Colorado, bearing a Kiswahili peace-maker’s name, Amani. Mama said my labor was the hardest, but she also sipped on a latte on her way into the birth center. I’m told that by the third birth, it’s more like an interesting coffee date away from the crazy siblings.
My oldest brother was still three years old when I made my appearance. My big sis, just shy of two. Today, they smother me with all the kisses, but really, they do love to sit on me too. Yeah.
By the time I turn one, I will have lived half my life in North America, half in Western Europe. I won’t remember living in the States and mama thinks it won’t happen, but my English is gonna sound a little peppered. Not like location makes a huge difference to my current view from the baby carrier. Milk tastes a little different here and my room has become a bit more bare. But that’s about it.
Mama said she had to sell my lovely hand-me down blue bathtub because it wasn’t worth shipping across an ocean. Supposedly, it wasn’t worth repurchasing, we could get by without one. Same story for the baby monitor, the jumper, the walker, baby toys. My toys! Then, there were the pregnant friends who took sissy’s crib. Thanks a whole lot, family. I was sort of waiting in line for a real bed. My new farmhouse room consists of a knock-off travel cot plopped down in the center. That, and a mattress in lieu of a rocking chair.
You can skip my room in the house tour. There’s seriously not much to look at. When guests come, the extra mattress even gets ripped out of my barren room and I get nursed on the floor. And my baths are, woah, well, I just hold onto mama for dear life in thrice recycled bath water. What must it feel like to be squeaky clean?
Life’s always been a rocky ride for me. I sleep where I can, when I can. And when I can’t, my fierce grip holds on tight to mama. Otherwise strange things happen. People grab me. Anyone with a free hand grabs me. Or, worse, they leave me in the middle of nowhere, where I graze on beads and discarded Lego pieces.
A few weeks ago, I was left sitting precariously, right there in the preschool corridor, bobbing forward like a drunken sailor. Large masses of kids raced by as mama yelled, I’ll be back, little man! Mama needed both hands, she said. Thanks for the boost to the immune system, y’all.
Okay, so, I’m not really suffering. I’m smiling my way through this life I’ve been given. My parents (not the little ones) kiss my wide-opened grins and willingly inhale my smells that proclaim: “real-life happens in this home”. In all the upheaval of the months past, mama and papa are the first to say that I am in fact, their beautiful gift of peace. I’m their ever-present reminder to slow down the rhythms of life as my family today knows it.
This post was part of the #Write31Days challenge, on the topic: Our family in global transition.
You can read the other posts written this month, by clicking on the links below!
1 – French Preschool
2 – Making friends in a new land
3 – ‘Yes’ people in a ‘No’ culture
4 – How language affects transition
5 – Not all French people are foodies
6 – The apple juice party
7 – I’m the third-born
8 – French-Mex ridiculous
9 – Busted by the Swiss police
10 – Educational field trip
11 – Visitors: the good and the bad
12 – Christmas in October
13 – A good place to get sick
14 – C’est les vacances!
15 – Playdate anguish
16 – The five year plan
17 – The Q&A edition!
18 – Holidays are for world-schooling
19 – The Granny I want to be.