Six years ago I sat in the very room I am sitting in now, working the same job, but it was all about to change. I was due with my second child, and my husband had just accepted a job offer in another state, which meant once the baby was born I would never be here again. I would be leaving my job, which I had come to like; selling our house, the one we had had built for us in a rural subdivision, the only house I'd known in my married life; moving 600 miles away to a place where I had no friends or family; and being a stay at home mom to two young children.
Six years ago I wanted to sell our land. If we were moving that far away, I could not bear the thought of having a piece of land, a place I loved, but not being able to visit it as often as I wanted. It turns out I was wrong, and keeping the land is what saved us. We had talked of living here, but that seemed like such a remote possibility, one I was not sure I could make the transition to at the time.
Six years ago was my last day here at the office. I went home as usual, made dinner, went for a walk, and read bedtime stories to my two year old son. As I was rocking him, I felt the familiar tightening, the beginning of contractions. It seemed like forever before he was finally weary enough to fall asleep in his bed. I took a warm bath, but it did not comfort me; the contractions kept coming, faster and more intense. I told my husband what was going on, but not to worry yet, I was going to bed for a while, it would probably be hours before anything happened.
Then my water broke. Hours collapsed into seconds as I went into transitional labor on the way to the hospital. I don't know how I walked in, all the way to OB on the second floor. By the time we got into a room I was ready to lie on my side, nauseous and irritable. I asked for Nubain, but by the time the nurse brought it in, it was too late; I was pushing. My doctor arrived just as the baby was crowning; moments later I heard a little cry and "You have a daughter!" Nina was born at 1:30 AM, Friday the 13th, 1999, after under four hours of labor. She's always been impatient and determined.
We moved, but somehow what we were moving to seemed to elude us. We moved again; the job, the location, the finances, never seemed quite right. Three years went by in a haze as we chased what we wanted, what we had a vague idea of but didn't know how to get there. Coming back to the land was always like coming home; it was becoming the center of my universe.
Then we landed here, when Nina was three and had a one year old brother. It was as crazy and unplanned as anything that ever happened. We lived day to day, not knowing how we would get by, but somehow life was starting to feel right. Six months later, my old job opened up; I walked in the door just like I always had, and it was as if nothing had changed, nothing except me. Somewhere on that wild crazy journey, I learned what I wanted out of life.
You could say we ended up here, right back where we started, because our other plans didn't work out. I believe, however, that there was one plan all along, one we gradually came to know. The treasure we sought was not necessarily the treasure we would find.
Happy birthday, Wild Neen.