So this is how 2007 closes, afflicted with the hiccups for all the wrong reasons -- swallowing gum juice instead of a Magnum of champagne -- losing two of three in ping-pong to Super-Slam Feighan-Kurth, missing not one but two Webcam chats and leaning back, feet on the desk, feeling serene if not quite "woo-hoo, let's call everyone we know, then barf in our shoes" festive.
It feels good.
Rope-a-Hope is finally dozing contentedly after winning a pitched battle with 2 ounces of breast milk, Big Mo is boning up on Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in anticipation of a Friday appointment with yet another specialist, Lulu is at my feet wondering why it's suddenly wrong to eat kitty litter, and no one cares where the cats are.
Mo and I talked about the year and agreed the best description was challenging and stressful but ultimately rewarding. I remember last New Year's Eve, singing karaoke with my family and feeling a bit sad that I didn't know any of the words to the American Idol songs and didn't have any reason to because we didn't have children. To borrow a phrase from my pal Brooklyn Salt, Mo pulled the goalie in June. We'd actively tried for about four months and were starting to feel blue.
Two weeks later, we wrote Will a long note to mark the 2-year anniversary of his death, sprinkled some of his ashes on his tree and told him we needed to stop actively mourning him and move on.
A month later, Hope was conceived. Three months of bliss followed. Next came six months of anxiety and about 15 ultrasounds when we returned from two weeks in Greece, Egypt and Turkey to learn that tests showed Mo had an elevated risk for Trisomy 18, a condition that kills newborns in their first week or so. We learned much later the protein marker that triggered the elevated risk also is thought to also be one of CdLS, a fact apparently unknown to our entire medical team.
That's a long way of saying it's been a weird year. But wowzers. What a reward.
Hope is 2 months old today. We know the challenges ahead are vast. Even without Hope's medical issues, this parenthood stuff is tough. It's humbling to work like hell at something for 2 months and still realize you are mediocre "pat on the head for trying" at best. It's humbling and an honor that you are the one charged with making this dimply fussbudget happy.
We fed Hope as the final minutes of 2007 ticked away and whispered her our New Year wishes for her. They're simple: stable health, a life without pain, grow and develop the best way she can and get big enough so I can tote her around in a Baby Bjorn while I exact ping-pong revenge on her mother.
Happy New Year, party people. We hope it's splendid.