Ok; ok, Calladen in Titanic was probably not the first person (fictional or otherwise) to say those words; but that statement made an impact on me at the time because obviously; this character was a "bad guy". So it made it seem that "making your own luck" was a negative thing. Is it? I recently read about this study:
And it was; as Oprah says, "An ah-ha moment". I've always considered myself exceptionally lucky. Ever since I was a child; I've been the kind of person that things happen to. So many times; things have fallen into place for me; seemingly miraculously. While I can't take any credit for my good fortune; I've always wondered what makes a person lucky. The first bit of good luck I had was when I was born. The person I call "Dad" is actually my stepfather. He chose to raise me as his own child, even though he didn't have to. And he never treated me as anything less than his own daughter. So much so; that I often forget that we are not biologically linked. In fact; when my fifth son was born and I first saw the dimple he has in his cheek; in a haze of endorphins and exhaustion, I actually thought, "He got my dad's dimple!". I laughed about it later; but he DOES have my dad's dimple; I really don't get it.......
Flash forward a bit; I did not have a perfect life; far from it. But as I became an adult, things just seemed to always fall right into place for me. From meeting my husband, to having the five sons I jokingly told my husband I "knew" we were going to have. Once my doctor said to me, "Somebody up there must really like you!". But...what if I'm not really lucky; what if luck can be learned? Is it possible that I, and others, who people see as lucky have learned cues from an early age that makes it easier for us to choose the path that leads us to what we want? I think it's fascinating; and I DO think anyone has the ability to improve their "luck" (if it can be called that). I'm thankful for whatever it was that "taught" me to "make my own luck". But in a less smarmy, smirky way than the character on Titanic!
Thank you for visiting my blog; it is an exciting venture for me and I hope this will become a forum for moms and homemakers of all types to share stories, frustrations, and triumphs. There will be recipes, pictures of my latest and greatest soap creations, and anything I think will be interesting to Enthusiastic Homemakers.....
Monday, April 16, 2012
Hello, my much-neglected blog! The last year or so has been so Topsy-turvy; and in reality; I've felt so UN-homemaker-like for most of the last year; I felt disingenuous posting about my experiences. It's safe to say that my business has consumed me and right now I'm in a huge transition.
What sparked my desire to finally post was both the Spring weather, which always reminds me of new beginnings, and the date; April 16th. Today is my #4 boy's 4th birthday. In a lot of ways, his birth was a season of new beginnings as well.
On the morning of April 16th, 2008; I woke up with a start. Heavily (and I mean HEAVILY) pregnant; I was so immobile and gigantic and MORE than ready to have this baby. I had made the decision early on in my pregnancy to have a natural experience with minimal medical intervention; and had enjoyed going to a birth center which was located inside a 100 year old bungalow complete with creaking wooden floors and diamond pane windows. I lumbered out of bed, as I had every morning for the last few weeks; and looked outside at the trees which were on the verge of blossoming. I had told myself every day of my pregnancy that Dorian would be born when the trees were in bloom; but a late Spring that year had kept them depressingly un-blossomed. I thought to myself, "I can't have the baby today, the trees aren't in bloom!". Just then, I had a contraction that doubled me over. "Ahh!, not again!" I thought. I had been having contractions continuously for weeks, with no sign of actual labor. But something felt different about this time. I called my mother, my sister, and my midwife; explained to everyone that I was having contractions and could I possibly be in labor?
Since this was my fourth child, you'd think I'd know; but each labor is so different in progression as to render experience nearly worthless. The consensus from all these wise women was that I was NOT in labor. Disappointed, I decided to go about my day. The mini-scare made me realize that I was going to have the baby at SOME point; so I decided to start making meals to freeze. Lasagna started, I was still having contractions that were doubling me over and some other signs of labor as well, but I didn't want to be the girl that cried wolf, and honestly; I felt so silly being pregnant for the fourth time and having no earthly clue whether I was in labor or not. So I soldiered on. I made sauce from scratch, boiled the noodles, and about the time I was assembling the lasagna I was having so much trouble standing during the contractions I thought it might be wise to call my midwife. Again. She asked me whether I thought I was in labor; I said I didn't know. I really didn't! So I waited.
I served my boys lunch, sent them out to play and finished up the lasagna. As soon as I covered it and put it in the fridge to cool; I knew I was going to have a baby. Soon. The time was about 1 pm; and I made another round of phone calls. This time, my mother said, "You sound like you're in labor". I was still hesitant to go to the birth center only to be disappointed, but I agreed to come in "for a check". My husband came home, left again to take the boys to my sisters' house....and I panicked. I was having intense contractions by then, and was picturing myself giving birth on my bathroom floor BY MYSELF; while homemade lasagna languished in the fridge and my husband was chatting with my sister before dropping off our boys.
Calm breathing, calm breathing. Finally, my husband returned and we took the painful and ridiculous 17 minute drive to the birth center. When I arrived, it was 2:45 and I was 7 cm dilated. One hour and sixteen minutes later, at 4:01 pm, Dorian Russell came into the world, all 10 lbs 4oz of him. He was blond and huge and gorgeous. We went home just 2 hours later, to a hot, home-cooked meal. Of lasagna.
Now, at 4 years old; Dorian is a unique little guy that never ceases to amaze us. Very serious; he's also a very loving boy who always is ready to cuddle. He has a box that is a collection of eclectic items he's selected. He carries it around with him and at night; tells me to "protect" it. He informed me a few days ago that he's a "Superhero". He certainly is brave! Last year; when he was barely three years old, he fell at Disneyland and needed stitches for his head. He didn't cry when getting stitches, just lay still and stoic, complete with a Mouse Eat hat at a rakish angle. Dorian is known for handling himself with aplomb no matter what the situation; only crinkling his brow slightly when something strikes him as odd. He's been a true blessing in his four years of life. I'm grateful to whatever twist of fate brought him in our life at a time when we were NOT planning to have more children.
This morning, when I told Dorian that he was 4 years old, he asked me "Am I still Dorian Russell?".
Yes, Dori; you are!