a "Restory Life" post
“It’s a boy!” The doctor cried. Darren wiped the sweat gently off Lindsay’s forehead and looked into her deep brown eyes.
“We have a son! A baby boy!” Darren exclaimed. The doctor placed the tiny bundle of joy in Darren’s arms. He squeezed Lindsay’s hand and crouched down so that she could see her baby. The tiny little human was wrapped in a soft blue blanket. Tears rolled down Lindsay’s shiny, sweaty cheeks.
“What are we going to call him? Joshua or David?” Darren asked. Lindsay put her finger in the baby’s hand and his tiny fingers wrapped around it.
“Joshua.” Lindsay said smiling.
“Hey Joshua…hey buddy.” Darren said as he cradled the tiny baby. Joshua’s eyes were tightly shut and his skin was covered in blood and fluid. The tiny thing had barely any hair. Joshua’s nose was very small and round and his mouth was slightly open.
Darren couldn’t believe it. His own tiny human to raise into a man. Now he knew what his father felt like when he and his sisters were born. He thought of all the things he and Joshua could do together when Joshua was a bit older; build tree houses, play tag, teach him to ride a bike, play sports with him. Darren smiled. It was a new adventure; raising a tiny human. It was something he’d never done before. He was afraid. Afraid to get things wrong. Darren had no idea how to change nappies and feed a baby, but he knew that before long, he would become an expert.
Darren cradled Joshua for a while longer before he passed the baby to Lindsay. Lindsay reached out and gingerly took her newborn son from Darren. Lindsay smiled and stroked Joshua’s soft cheeks. He was so small. His head fit easily in the palm of her hand and the rest of his body layed gently on top of her forearm. She looked at Joshua, the tiny boy, the small bundle of giggles, gurgles and happiness. Lindsay couldn’t believe that she was his mother. Everything felt so surreal to Lindsay. She’d never been a mother before. What if she wasn’t good enough? What if she couldn’t bring up Joshua right and he ended up hating her.
Lindsay shook her head. ‘No.’ she thought. She wouldn’t let that happen to her and her son. Lindsay was very nervous and scared about bringing her first baby home. She didn’t know how to breast feed, she didn’t know how to understand what her baby was crying about; Lindsay didn’t even know how to change a nappy properly. She sighed. She knew she’d work it out, there was still that doubt but she knew she could bring up her baby with the help of Darren. It was the best job in the world to share.
Parenthood. The start of something new. Something wonderful. A new life to share between the three of them. Darren and Lindsay were both excited and yet terrified.
Over the years Joshua grew. He had his first teeth and he started to walk. He learnt to ride a bike and he started to go to school. Darren and Lindsay worked hard and cared for Joshua as best they could.
When Joshua was 8 years old and in the second grade, Lindsay had her second child. A girl. Her name was Jemima. Jemima was very different to Joshua. Darren and Lindsay found it a lot easier to care for her because they’d been through it once before with Joshua. Joshua brought Jemima to school for show and tell. All of his classmates ‘Ohhhhed’ and ‘Ahhhhhed’ and the girls played with Jemima until Lindsay had to take her home for a nap. Joshua felt great being the centre of attention in his class because at home, Jemima was all anyone made a fuss about.
One day when Jemima was only a week old, the doorbell rang. Joshua tore towards the door. He always tried to beat his daddy to the door. It had become so much easier to beet daddy ever since he was so busy playing with Jemima. Joshua opened the door and his grandparents were there.
“Where is our new family member?” Granny asked as the two of them walked straight through the door, right past Joshua. Joshua felt very left out but his Grandpa made an effort to cheer him up by taking him out to play baseball.
Joshua got more upset as the years passed. Jemima was always the centre of attention because she was cute and little. Lindsay and Darren had no idea that they were half ignoring Joshua because between looking after Jemima and work, they were both so tired and slept a lot instead of playing with Joshua like they used to.
Joshua was 15 and things hadn’t changed much. He would always get in trouble when Jemima did something wrong. Jemima was 7. She understood a lot more now. She was scared of Joshua though. He never played with her, he was always angry and he never wanted to speak to her. Jemima wondered what she had done wrong.
Lindsay and Darren called Joshua into his room one day that year. They could both see that he was growing bitter, angry and arrogant. Darren tried to understand what Joshua was going through but he was the youngest child in his family, so he didn’t really know how Joshua felt. Lindsay on the other hand thought that it was just a phase that Joshua was going through and she decided to just wait for the time when it passed.
Joshua felt like no one was on his side. His parents never listened to him, he thought. They never gave him recognition when he got good grades in school, but when Jemima got a B+ or something, they would praise her more and more. Joshua knew that Jemima loved the praise, but he needed praise and love from his parents too.
A week later Joshua was teased at school when he accidentally mixed up his books and brought a fairy book of Jemima’s to school. Joshua went home very angry that day. Lindsay and Darren tried to find out what was wrong but it only turned into a fight and Joshua felt terrible.
That night Joshua packed a back pack with all his favourite things; his card collection, some of his clothes, a blanket and some food and water. Joshua climbed out his window and ran off into the darkness.
“Lindsay! Joshua ran away!” Darren called in the morning as he rushed down the stairs with a handwritten note from Joshua.
I hate it here.
You never pay attention to me.
I just want to be left alone now.
Lindsay cried and Jemima gulped. She was scared for her brother. They were ALL scared for Joshua. He was all alone out in the big wide world. Lindsay and Darren were mad at themselves for being so focussed on Jemima that they forgot that they had two children, not just the one.
Lindsay and Jemima waited at home while Darren went out with the police looking for his boy. Lindsay cried in her bed for a long time. She went over everything that she could have possibly done to prevent this from happening. Jemima played with her dolls for most of the day. Every game ended up with one of her dollies getting angry and running away.
“DING DONG!” Jemima jumped up from the table when she heard the doorbell ring. Lindsay walked over and was greeted by the sight of her son. He was home safe and sound. He was dirty and sweaty but he looked perfectly fine.
Joshua was surprised when his mother ran towards him with open arms and squeezed the life out of him. He felt loved for once.
Joshua grew up more as time went on. Lindsay and Darren got much better at showing they loved him and Joshua became happier and calmer. They still had their ups and downs, arguments and celebrations but things ran more smoothly.
Joshua fell in love when he was 23 years old. Georgia Hawking was a pretty girl with dark hair and fair skin but she had a lovely personality. Joshua was only seven months older than Georgia but Georgia was very mature. She was a medical trainee and Joshua was studying to be a doctor. The two of them attended a number of classes together and spent a lot of time studying together. Joshua and Georgia started a relationship together later on that year. On Georgia’s 24th birthday Joshua gave her the gift of an engagement ring and she happily said yes.
Joshua looked at himself in the full length mirror and adjusted his tie. He had to admit that he looked pretty good in his wedding suit. Joshua felt like the luckiest man on earth. He wondered what Georgia looked like. She always looked beautiful but he felt like she was going to look extra specially gorgeous today.
“Josh,” Darren passed through the room beaming, “It’s time.”
Joshua stood at the end of the aisle smiling. The music played. The sun was streaming in through the windows. The light glinted off his father’s glasses and his mother’s tears that streamed down her face from the front row.
Georgia’s sisters and Jemima were the maids and flower girls. They slowly walked down the aisle. Joshua soaked in the stunning sight as Georgia appeared down the end of the hall. Her hair was curled down the side of her face. She had very natural makeup on and her dress shone like the sun. Her eyes sparkled and her smile lit up her face.
The wedding went very fast for Joshua and before he knew it they were married and off on their honeymoon. Ten months later, Joshua and Georgia were in the same hospital that Joshua’s parents were twenty seven years earlier. Except this time, Georgia was having twins.
Both survived. Two tiny baby girls. Joshua finally felt like a man. He knew what his father felt like when he and Jemima were born. He had his own tiny humans to raise and bring up right. He and Georgia both knew it wouldn’t be easy. It never is. The vomit, the nappy changing, the tears, the long nights with no sleep, always being worried that your child is in some kind of danger. Parenthood is hard; but it is the most rewarding job anyone will ever undertake. Raising tiny humans to have manners, to be kind to one another, to work hard and to learn the meaning of life is never easy. Those who choose to take this mission, this adventure, this new way of life, these people are courageous, brave, patient and strong. They are our everyday miracle in the world.