Sydney turns two today. I've written about her so much that to do so now seems almost redundant. She is miraculous, the chubbiest little spitfire you'll ever share a snack with. She has her father's brains and her mother's temperament, which will serve her well in life if her parents take care not to screw it all up. She loves Popeye's and any music with a funky beat. She loves baby dolls--and all those nature vs. nurture people can suck it, for the record, because nurture clearly has nothing to do with anything--and running really fast around the block. She talks, she counts, she sings, and she sleeps all through the night, every night. She is the most amazing thing I've ever searched for the words to describe.
The story of Sydney's birth is amazing in its own way, although she will undoubtedly grow to loathe the telling. And there has been much telling, and re-telling, in the last couple of years. I like to watch the expression on peoples' faces when they ask how old she is, as they do they the math, arriving at a date not long after the storm, when they finally ask where...um...she ended up being born...and I tell the story about Houston, and Rita, and our ridiculous journey across 5 states to my mom's place in Orlando, where Sydney was finally born, a mere 24 hours after our arrival. I tend to omit one of the best parts of the story, which my friend Shayna loves to recall, the part where Cade and his company are forced to evacuate Ft. Lauderdale for Hurricane Wilma, when Sydney was--what?--barely a month old.
Still, in the middle of it all, there was indescribable beauty. Childbirth, for me, was the single most exhilarating experience of my life. The pain, the confusion, the exhaustion and the fear--all of this obscured by the emergence of this new life, this very vocal little person. They laid her on my chest and it was over, it was all over.
(I came across this charming piece of correspondence as I was cleaning out my inbox. Note the artificially cheerful tone.)
Sent: Thu, 22 Sep 2005 20:08:41 -0500
Subject: I Evacuated to Houston and All I Got Was This Lousy Hurricane
I'm in the lobby of a Holiday Inn in Alabama, mooching off their wireless access and trying not to go into labor. Cade and I left Houston yesterday, drove north to Marshall, TX (just west of Shreveport), then woke up early today and made it to just outside Montgomery. We've tried to take major roads and stay close to hospitals. I managed to get my medical records from the doc in Houston before evacuating, so we're set. We'll head to Orlando in the morning. We had to get there eventually anyway--just weren't planning on dong it this soon...
But we're okay. I'm just hoping this storm doesn't wreak as much havoc as Katrina did--hopefully folks will have learned some lessons, and perhaps the storm will weaken some before landfall. I don't wish any of this craziness on anyone else.
Hopefully the next mass email I send will include pictures of the new Roux!