By: Tanya Dodd-Hise
Life continues, I have found out, even when you have a newborn baby, have health scares, are sleep deprived…whatever the case may be. We settled in back at home for the second time, and before we knew it, our beautiful brand new baby girl was three weeks, and then four. People still wanted their school and family photos taken and packages ordered. I was soon discovering how difficult it is, at least for me, to juggle a new baby, a wife who is healing from two concurrent trips to the hospital AND major surgery, my own businesses (yes, plural), and all on only a few hours of sleep each night. But you know what? I’m doing what I can, and the rest is having to wait. I have three beautiful and amazing children now, and each needs me in their own unique way. And you know what else? If we blink, we’re going to miss something.
My oldest son, Nicholas (the twenty-year-old), recently enlisted in the Navy. It was a decision that surprised all of us, but in a completely good way and we support him completely. The college route didn’t seem to “work” for him, much to my disappointment, so I am thrilled that he is doing this and will ultimately get his education during the process. He also decided to marry his girlfriend before he left for basic training, and they opted for a wedding at the justice of the peace with a full wedding celebration later. Now this was a decision that all of his parents thought might have been a bit hasty, but it was their decision and we would support them the best we can. So on October 31st I drove to the courthouse and watched my son marry the girl that he loves. At the moment that I stood there, taking pictures and listening to him say marriage vows, all I could do was cry because here I was, 41 years old and watching my baby boy get married. Sure, I wished that he would have been older, but I also remember that no one could have changed my mind either when I was that age and decided to do something. I love him so much, and only want the best for him, and now for his new wife as well. They “work”, and for that I am so thankful and blessed.
The middle boy, Noah, has been absolutely awesome since his baby sister has arrived. He loves her so much, and is always asking to hold her or feed her; and always kissing her sweet little head and telling her how much he loves her. It was probably a little rough on him during the weeks that we were in and out of the hospital because he was shuffled around quite a bit, but he came out the other side like a trooper (well, his grades are a bit bruised from the last six weeks, but he’s getting his act back together). He presently is looking forward to Christmas photos with the baby – just the two of them. I’m simply amazed, every day, at the sweetness of his love for her, and wonder where all the time has gone since he was tiny and helpless like Harrison.
And the baby? Harrison is six weeks old now. She’s getting longer, but not too much chunkier (I know, photos are deceiving – all of her chunkiness is in her cheeks). We had her first Thanksgiving, and she did great on her first road trip (albeit only two hours). I was thrilled to have Nicholas and his wife on the trip with us (Noah was with his dad), and looking forward to all of us being together over the Christmas holidays. We’ve had some ups and downs with Harrison’s eating and sleeping, and we are tired. All the time. Exhausted and suffering from a significant lack of sleep. But you know what? Next thing we know, Harrison is going to be grown and off to college and then getting married herself – and I will be OLD. If we blink, we’re going to miss something.