Tuesday, July 21, 2015

That Day

5:50am on May 10 , 2015, Mother’s Day, I woke from sleep.  It was not to a child in my face nor a baby crying and not breakfast in bed.  My husband was moving with his back to me.  It looked like he was shaking.  Drowsy and thinking he was merely scratching due to an eczema outbreak I mumbled “Rolston stop scratching”, but the shaking continued.

I said his name a few more times before I realized something was not right.  As I looked over his shoulder I saw it clearly.  He was having a seizure.  I knew instantly. It was when time slowed down and I said his name over and over telling him he would be ok and touched his face unsure of what to do except to hold onto him and speak into his ear.

Brenton was in bed with us.  He was asking if Daddy was ok and I kept saying yes.  Reassuring two of my favorite guys was now my responsibility in that moment. It was all instinct but I remember it vividly in retrospect.

When the shaking stopped he did not come around. Knowing he needed help I could not give I attempted to call 911.  My hands at first could not swipe the screen to make the keypad come up.  The password I implemented to stop my toddler from texting and calling was effectively stopping me from the same.  With erratic breathing on the verge of tears and shaking I told the operator my husband had a seizure.  She asked for my address and said they would send someone.  I was told to unlock the door.

Hanging up the first thing I did was call Monica.  She is my person, my best friend and the boys godmother.  I said, “Rolston had a seizure, I need you to come.  I don’t know what to do.”  She heard the tears behind my words and said “No tears you have to be strong for the boys.  I am on my way.”

I went to unlock the door and came back to Brenton who had taken off his pajamas at some point in the night, so I grabbed the closest pair and waited for the paramedics for what seemed like an eternity.  Looking back it was about 5 minutes.  Rolston still had not come around, but I put him comfortably on his side.

There were two paramedics, one young man and one woman who was probably slightly older than I am.  She assessed Rolston and I told her what happened.  She did not tell me he was ok, but she worked on him.  The young man spoke into his radio and took notes on a pad.  Brenton sat on my lap.  I heard the cries of the baby and went to get him together.  We all came back and sat together on the couch in our bedroom holding onto one another as the paramedics tried to get Rolston to come around. As more and more paramedics arrived they asked more questions and were trying to determine how to get Rolston down the stairs.

Finally as if he knew I needed him to respond, the woman said again Rolston, Rolston and with a jolt upright he sat up and said “What, what?” He looked so frightened and she said plainly, “Your wife thinks you had a seizure.”  He glared at me clearly upset and confused and I said simply, “You did” with tears in my eyes.

You see I thought he was going to die or that he would never come back around.  I was thinking about what my life would be like without the love of my life.  What my boys would do without their father.  I am a worrier by nature and even if he is late coming home I tend to go to the worst case scenario.  So you see in this moment of real crisis I was strong and completely petrified all at once.

For the first time since I woke at 5:50 that morning to my husband having an unprovoked seizure in our bed with my oldest son at my side, I did not take a real breath. The moment he said what my body relaxed a bit and I took one deep cleansing breath.  Not knowing that all was well or what caused the seizure I was comforted knowing he was awake.

I got him a t-shirt at the paramedics request and they got him up and on the stretcher to take him down the stairs.  Later he would tell me he has no memory of any of these events.  The only thing he does remember is Brenton looking out of our bedroom window and the paramedic was waving to him and right before they put him in the ambulance the paramedic said your son is waving to you, he waved back to him with a big smile.  He has no recollection of the ride in the ambulance.  That whole day is a blur for him except that one moment is very clear to him.

I watched him wave from downstairs out the living room window. I was waiting for my parents to answer the phone.  I needed them to come.  Rolston had a seizure.  I kept it together and my mother told me they would come as fast as they could which meant about 9 hours or so. 

I took another breath.  The ambulance was gone.  He was safe.  Soon I would go to him.

Looking around, I wondered what to do. I could not simply wait wringing my hands. Instead I went with routine.  Baby gets a bottle and sits in his walker.  Brenton lies in bed and they watch Team Umizoomi while I take a shower.  When I was dressed and ready my savior arrived and I could not hug her knowing the tears would come and they would not stop.  Instead with a knowing glance I thanked her.  I had to go.

I was calm and drove carefully.  It was about 5 minutes to the hospital and when I arrived I gave the information and just as I was almost done it happened….the adrenaline wore off.  I told the receptionist and she said as she slid the tissues toward me you can go see him.  He is right through the doors and on the right in bed 5.

Crying I walked through the doors not asking where to go or for any kind of permission.  I slid back the curtain not knowing what to expect.  It was dim but he was there.  Himself.  He said hi and so did I.  I went and sat by him and took his hand.  Relief washed over me again.

A doctor told us he seemed to be fine now.  He said the words I will never forget, “Everyone in life is entitled to one seizure.”  What?  I had no idea.  Later as we told people about the events of that day we heard stories about all kinds of people who had a seizure or even a few and then they stopped and never happened again.

After notifying everyone in our circle about the events and that Rolston seemed fine, but was at the hospital, I went back to the house.  Somewhere I did not realize that my wonderful friend had to celebrate her son’s birthday let alone Mother’s day with her family.  She said she was sorry.  I looked at Brenton and started to laugh.  Puzzled Monica asked what is it and I said, “those are Emerson’s pajamas.”  And we both laughed.  She hugged me and asked if there was anything I needed.  I told her to go have a wonderful day with her family and thanked her.

For the next day and a half we spent waiting and talking to doctors and back and forth with the children or without them.  I ran back and forth making sure everyone was ok.  They were.  I wasn’t.  I didn’t know it yet, but I wasn’t and I am still not even almost 3 months later.

Waking in the night is still a regular occurrence.  Flashbacks and bad dreams.  Anxiety. And that it will happen again. Those are all very real for me.  I worry they are real for Brenton who had his own experience.

We let his teachers know.  He did not speak to them about it.  His GiGi walked him through it and he still talks to her.  He asks if daddy had another seizure at least once a week and sometimes even daily. He talks about the giants walking up the stairs.  It took a while for us to determine they are the EMTs. He hyper focuses about ambulances and asks about doctors. I do what I can to comfort and reassure him, but worry he has scars or worse open wounds from that day.  

For Rolston, it as if it didn’t happen so he requires no reassurance or comfort.  He is convinced he is fine.  He is convinced it was a one-time occurrence.

I wish I could be as certain, but I am not.  Yesterday we met with the new neurologist at UPENN.  You see UPENN is where we go if there is a problem.  They are the best in the area.  The oldest neurology department in the country.  I told the story of that day again.  It was as if it was yesterday.  I recalled the details of the position of his arms as he shook, the clenched jaw, the noise he made, the eyes rolled back and the drooling. When the shaking stopped I explained the timeline, the 25 minutes it took for him to come around and the fog that persists surrounding the events that followed for him as I instead remember it all so clearly.

It could be the left frontal lobe based on the position of his arms.  But they cannot be certain.  It could be a one-time occurrence.  But they cannot be certain. They are certain he cannot drive for 6 months.  They are certain that the EEG was normal.  They are certain they want to do another where he is sleeping since the seizure occurred out of sleep.

She felt comfortable with a 60% chance it would not happen again.  But all I heard is 40% that it would.  She is comfortable with no medication.  She is comfortable with a follow up in a few months.  Call her or email her anytime she said.  She meant it.

Oh how I wish it all made me feel better.  I should be so grateful that it is not worse and truthfully I am so very grateful.  I take myself back to the moment when I was convinced he was leaving us and feel so thankful he feels wonderful and that it is behind him.  I just wish I could forget that day like he has.  Brenton and I, the witnesses, that we could erase that day.

That day changed me.  That day shook me.  That day haunts me.  May 10, 2015 was that day.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Everyone Get Away From Me!

There are days when everything feels wrong and I just want to scream "Everyone get away from me!" Today was one of those days. Since Emerson is sleeping and Brenton has been sent to his room for bad behavior I can say the day is essentially over. Mostly I can breathe a sigh of relief because I am sitting outside in the quiet by the pool with the setting sun and an alcoholic beverage.

My life is not difficult or complicated. We are all healthy and are very comfortable. Still as anyone who has young children knows I have days I might consider stabbing myself in the leg just so that I could spend a couple hours away from everyone.

It might be because Brenton currently only listens to me when I yell at him. Or it could be that for the twentieth time I have asked Emerson to stop eating a stick or a rock or a stick and a rock. It even perhaps could be that my husband has disappeared at the quintessential moment when everything is in full meltdown to take a half hour trip to the bathroom. I mean I have never unless something is wrong taken a 30 minute shit. Regardless there could be a slew of reasons why a knife to the thigh seems like a good idea.

My mother is visiting and she is so wonderful. She reminds me that this is hard and that it is ok that this is hard. Raising young children is relentless. They climb on you they put their spit all over you and they need you all the time. She tells me calmly that it does get easier in some ways and harder in others. It is helpful even though I am not sure I thanked her for making me feel better.

Today was just rough. From my attempt to clean Brenton's car seat the day was off to a bad start. The kids were fussy and it was just too hot and humid and I had forgotten how carseats are clearly manufactured by Satan himself.

It was a bad idea but it needed to be done. As a result Rolston and I yelled at each other and I crumbled in a heap because I could not get the buckle through the hole. It was like putting together IKEA furniture. A recipe for disaster and pain and suffering for all around me.

I wish I could say I was good at dealing with frustration but I am not. I wish I could say I don't yell at my kids or my husband when I am frustrated but I cant. The truth is I am difficult and occasionally I make things even more difficult when I reach a certain point.

After the carseat I should have called it a day but the boys were determined to keep the misery going as long as possible. More whining until nap time and then I fled with my mother to Target. It really was that or a knife to my own leg. 

Target is a bad idea when upset because retail therapy is so soothing. I managed to get out of there with only a few extra items and avoided buying a new rug. Then off to pick up the online yardsale find for Brenton and through the 5 dollar car wash so I could use the vacuum since the car set was still sitting on the floor in the family room. The farm stand for corn was next and then back home to the maniacs who were up from their naps already wrecking havoc.

I escaped to the pool and they followed me. It's easier in the pool. I can throw them. I can whirl them around and make them chase me. I can shoot them with water guns and splash them. It is cathartic.

But eventually they want to get out and run and have me push them on swings and eat rocks and sticks and ask ten thousand questions. So the feeling of frustration creeps back in. Then it's time to make dinner and set the table and make sure everyone is settled. My husband makes a dig at me and I am furious. Other days it wouldn't matter but today as Brenton is sneaking something he was told he couldn't have more than a few times and it was just too much.

He was sent to his room and I put his brother to bed and now here I sit decompressing and my mother just announced through the window that she went upstairs and now Brenton is crying. She offered to sit with him but he has had too much of what he wants today and must learn to work it out on his own.

Tomorrow will be a better day. Tomorrow I will not be so frustrated because I definitely won't attempt to do anything even marginally frustrating. I just hope it is a little easier and that I will not want to scream for eveyone to get away from me.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Tough Stuff

On occasion I am bogged down by the tough stuff.  For the most part I am far more inclined to live in the moment as opposed to getting stuck in the muck, but when it happens it certainly does drag me down.  As the mother of bi-racial children I am acutely aware of certain realities.  The realities that exist for my boys and my husband that when they are not with me I do not face at all.  I often wonder where I fall.  What role I will play in shaping their views when it comes to race and racism.

I am often told by white friends and family that I am just far too sensitive.  I have even been told that history shows that racism is in the past.  That is not my experience and as the blonde hair and blue eyes look back at me when they say those words, I cannot fathom how they would even begin to formulate that opinion.  So I feel stuck because I cannot educate someone who has this belief that they are mistaken.

When those people who share my own blood do not stand up for my immediate family, I feel deeply betrayed.  The feeling washes over me and my blood runs cold when I see a post on social media about how privilege does not exist or a meme regarding the historical significance of the confederate flag should be acknowledged and protected, a “like” for Paula Deen or and all lives matter hash tag.  As a result I have excluded them from my life and the lives of my children.  You are not allowed to like a photo of my children, but not fundamentally support them in the most basic and human way.  To proclaim that their lives matter as much as your children’s is needed because right now it is clear that they do not.  There is a preponderance of evidence to the contrary and it is continuously ignored by so many.

It is not enough to say they would be angered if my children faced something that their child would never have to face and in the same breath say it won’t because I will raise them well.  What if they were questioned if the house they live in is actually their own, stopped on their bike for looking suspicious or walking around the neighborhood with two of their friends visiting.  This is what my husband faced as a child growing up in an affluent neighborhood.  When he tells people many shake their heads in disbelief rather than in disgust.  He was raised so well and he speaks so well.  How could this be? And yet some people readily dismiss this knowledge and opt for the fact that there had to be a reason aside from race that prompted the attention.

These are the excuses that I cannot stomach.  The lack of action as people are killed.  The articles and opinion pieces that rise up to pardon what is happening.  The use of different language to mask the guilt of the worst of the worst.  That it is playing a card to even bring it up as an issue.  The lack of acknowledgement that there is a problem at all.  The fundamental inability to be empathetic and to walk in someone else’s shoes. To see a black child as their own and yet I do because they are my own.  And this is where I am stuck.

Where does this leave me and for that matter where does this leave other white parents of bi-racial or black children? I am struggling deeply with the answer because we are not the typical “good” white people.  We do have a stake in this for the sake of those we love the most.  Yet we do not understand what it is to be black.  Is it up to us to change the world?  Do we take up the megaphones and stand in the front lines in the protests?  Do we try to educate those around us that a flag coming down does not equal justice for so many lives lost?

From what I read and the discussions I have had, the answers are no because we are allies for racial equity and justice.  I still do not know how to effectively be an ally.  I am struggling with the role and the fact that I have not been given any clear responsibilities.  I want to scream “Just tell me what to do and I will do it!”.  Within me there is an inherent need for leadership and direction.  I will wait for that guidance to come soon.  Until then I will continue to try to find ways to make a difference until hopefully someday “the talk” means the same thing to all parents and the definition of tough stuff is universal.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Summer Fun

My boys are loving summer.  Thanks in part to our new fenced backyard with the play set, the sunroom/playroom and the pool, we have essentially created a fun zone that is all our own.  It is an amazing thing to watch my boys run and tumble and throw and kick and swim and laugh.  Lots and lots of laughs!

Swimming is a family adventure.  I think I love it the most.  At the end of the work day I rush down the stairs and put on my swimsuit and run out the door into the sun.  Instantly I am refreshed.  Fast walking, but never running, to the edge of the deep end of the pool I yell “Count me down” and Brenton yells “One, two, three” and I dive in and swim to meet him at the shallow end ladder when I grab him and bring him in with me.  Then Rolston brings Emerson to me and I put him in his floaty and pull him as I run in circles in the shallow end.  Rolston stand by the edge as we all yell “Go daddy, jump” and “One, two, three” over and over until he finally jumps in.  He and I take turns minding Emerson and swimming with Brenton.  There are rafts and splashes and water guns for all of us to enjoy.

When we get too cold or too pruney we emerge from the water towels waiting for us warm from the sun.  We take our seats in the play yard and I open the bubbles.  Blowing bubbles and drying in the warmth of the sun as the boys yell and run in the grass trying to catch the glistening spheres of joy.

Usually Rolston leaves us to go grab whatever item goes on the grill that night.  We all love his grilled chicken thighs.  Marinated simply in Italian dressing overnight they end up tender and delicious paired with some fruit or a salad.  Summer dinner is the best dinner.

We have more than enough to make us happy in our own backyard, but as summer break emerges into far too much down time, the need for a few scheduled activities becomes clear.  We thought long and hard and then found it.  T-ball!

Brenton began t-ball this week as part of the summer fun schedule.  He is far from the best player on the team, but he sure does love it.  In fact when we went to purchase his glove he was so excited he decided he wanted to stay in the sporting goods store.  He basically had a huge fit in the parking lot because well let’s face it to a child only the toy store is a better place to hang out.  So  in the car he wore the glove. When we got home of course I could not remove the glove from his hand.  The clear decision was he must nap with it on.

The day of the first practice it was a scorcher and he proudly put on his new team shirt and hat.  He paraded like a peacock ready to start this thing. This meant that the moment practice started he decided to come and sit with me.  Once I coaxed him to field some grounders he was hooked and I backed away quietly as he joined the fray.  He ran to me on water breaks all sweaty and smiley.  He called out “Watch me mommy” and shrieked with excitement when he ran the bases.

There is nothing more powerful than the joy and energy of a child doing something they love.  It swept me up in the excitement.  I felt lucky to be a part of it.

When we got home we headed right for the pool and he counted me down “One, two, three”.  It was a hot day and it was refreshing.  We swam and he giggled when I asked him if he liked t-ball he looked at me with a huge smile and said “yes mommy”.  I knew he meant it.  He has been practicing batting and throwing and catching the ball.

Emerson gets in on the action.  One day he will likely play t-ball too.  He seems to have a natural athletic ability.  Throwing and kicking came early for him just like walking and climbing.  In summer he can be outside and run until he cannot run anymore.  Or eat rocks…yes I said eat rocks.  We have to be very careful with our Big Beefy boy because he really likes to try to eat rocks.  So far we have stopped him, but I do worry one day he might actually do it.  His spirit at times reminds me of our amazing family dog Dutch who passed away before the kids were born.  They are both incredibly cool and funny, brutishly strong, extremely social, very intelligent, flirtatious and charming.  The funny thing is Dutch also liked to eat rocks too.

It is not always laughter and smiles.  Sometimes there are tears when they fall, when a bubble pops, when it’s time to get out of the pool, or worse when it’s time to finally go inside for the night.  Still there is nothing better than the simple life of summer.  The time outside soaking in the togetherness in the sun is the best time.  Sometimes we do this with friends which makes it even better.  We are lucky to have so much summer fun!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Our Little Oner

There is something about that first birthday.  I know now a days we count all the months up until that first birthday with almost as much fanfare, but it is still one of the most memorable days of their lives for me because I will carry it with me through all the other memories.  I know they will not recall the day and still I want it to be perfect or at least perfectly memorable.

For Brenton we did the big huge family celebration and a small celebration on the actual day which happened to be Thanksgiving.  For Emerson we celebrated while at my parents home in NC.  It was the day after Easter, so it felt like a week of celebration.  It did in fact last two days because Brenton fell asleep before we planned to sing and have cake.  Instead of disturbing a much needed slumber to do something that could easily be done the following day with even more excitement and a well rested preschooler, we opted out.

I know Emerson will never know his birthday really lasted for two days, but I will always remember.  I will remember the look on his face as we sang to him and that moment he decided to shove the whole piece of cake into his mouth.  He was perfect and it didn’t matter what day it was.

He had his party hat on and his big birthday balloons in his hands!  He had no idea about the scheduling change and in the end I think it was even better to have an extended celebration.  I think what a second child reaching the first birthday milestone has taught me is an exercise in not sweating the small stuff nearly as much as I did with my first born.   As a result I believe Emerson is a more agreeable child.  He goes with the flow.

His birthday celebration was small and intimate.  Just the immediate family in a house on the Neuse river in the warm spring air the day after Easter and the day the day after Easter.  I cannot think of a better place to be to capture the memories.

Gigi helped to buy some presents from Brenton to give to Emerson.  A foam sword, a lizard and of course the balloons.  He also got him a card.  Emerson squealed and chirped and hit Brenton with the sword. He also ran with the balloons and giggled when they hit the ceiling if he let go of the string.  Cause and effect is one of his favorite games.  He was thrilled with the presents from his big brother.

Brenton sang Happy Birthday to Emerson for weeks following his big day.  It was perhaps one of the sweetest brotherly moments I have seen from the two of them.  Their strong bond is astonishing in many ways because they truly have a care and concern for one another that is clear and Brenton really enjoyed celebrating for his brother.

My special moment is telling Emerson all about the day he was born just before he falls asleep on his special day.  He was exhausted and as his eyes gently closed I just finished telling him about how the doctors brought him to my chest and I cried big tears of joy that he was in my life forever.  I snuggled his face to mine just as I did on that day and kissed him ever so gently.  That is how I celebrate through remembrance.  My husband had a different yet still tender and touching approach.

Rolston has enjoyed inventing another nickname for his younger boy who shares his name…the little oner.  Because well, he is a oner and oner is funner to say! So we embrace it as the wee one turned one.  He is running around now with ease. Although at times he loses his balance and collapses in a heap, he is no longer our wee baby.  He definitely transitioned into a full scale toddler.  He is our very own little oner!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Working Traveling Mother

Some consider the set up of our family unusual.  My husband stays home with our children and I am the breadwinner.  Although I work from home, on occasion my job requires that I travel.  Usually I am gone for just a few manageable days and only about a plane ride no more than an hour and a half away.  That is until recently.

With a new initiative on the horizon, I was making travel plans for an international trip that would have me away from my family for 7 days.  My confidence was shaken in my husband’s ability to be on his own with two very young children.  Not because I thought he couldn’t do it, but because it is a lot to handle and it is relentless.  If they were older I would have no worries, but when everyone requires something at all times and no one can even dress themselves it is a daunting challenge.  He saw it too.

We asked my mother to come up for the week and Gigi was pleased to offer her help and made plans for her time with Brenton and Emerson.  I felt a sense of relief that she would be there.  Relief for myself.  I did not want to leave my guys, but I had to go.

When the day came Brenton was convinced I would be flying the plane.  After my trip a few weeks earlier he convinced himself that I was a pilot.  I thought why not that would be very exciting.  Much more exciting than the life of a training specialist.

Crying was not an option until I was out the door.  Gigi provided Brenton with comfort and a distraction and I was grateful.  I shed a few tears of sadness and relief that soon it would be over and I would be gone and back before I knew it. 

Being overseas was empowering in many ways.  I realized I can be away from my family and not melt into a puddle of tears.  I am stronger than I thought. Video chat is very helpful.  Also staying busy is useful as well.  It is a far better thing to make use of the down time I had to see the sights then to stay cooped up in a hotel room missing my family.

Taking pictures everywhere I went to show my children how exciting mommy’s travels were.  I relished the opportunity to see a city where I had not been before.  It was an experience I will never forget proving I am a competent business woman and world traveler.

At times I consider the impact of our nontraditional arrangement on our children and what kind of men my boys will one day become.    Will they seek out someone who wants to stay home with the children or who want to work? As long as they are strong and intelligent and will challenge them and make them happy, I will support them no matter what type of life they choose.

All I can hope is that I have been a good role model for them to take the path less travelled if that is what you want to do.  Sometimes there are challenges in doing things differently, but if I was afraid of what people thought my boys would not exist at all.  Nontraditional is my tradition in many ways.  My mother has always said I choose the hard road.  I tend to disagree with the fact that it is harder than any others.  It is just different.

My path is my own and to all the working traveling mothers who support their families in leaving instead of staying home, I salute you.  It is tough to walk out that door, but so rewarding as well to know all that I do for my family.  I am lucky to have the opportunities that I do and to be a traveling working mother.

The Second Child


The second child is different.  Even if they are both boys, the second child will inevitably be different from the first. People told me this before I had my second child and it was not that I did not believe them, but thought how different can they really be?

The answer is really really different.  Emerson wants to sleep and he likes to sleep.  Emerson loves to eat.  He also loves to feed himself.  He is autonomous in ways that surprise me at the tender age of only 9 months.  He is warm and tender and also like a truck ready to roll right over you to get what he wants.  It is not that he smiles more or less than his older brother, but it is a different smile.

Emerson’s energy is different.  He is not as frenetic as Brenton can be.  His energy is focused.  He seems to know exactly what he wants and what he wants is basically simple.  Usually it is food that he wants.  When he is tired he tells you.  Emerson can actually tell you exactly what he wants.  He also is very likely to just go and get it.  That is the biggest difference is his ability to communicate which has always been a struggle for his brother.

I spent so much time with Brenton worrying about milestones and playing like the books told me to do so he would achieve the milestones on time.  This time around I don’t even read the emails about the should be doing this at this point.  I see them come into my inbox and promptly delete them.  Part of that is a lack of time and the other is a lack of concern.  He seems to be doing well and also I trust myself more.  It helps that he has a playmate at all times.  Brenton really enjoys his brother mostly and will play with him all day.  He is constantly engaged between the attention he receives from Brenton, or his father or me. Not to mention his grandparents and even other children at the many events he attends at the libraries with his dad.

There is not as much fear and anxiety placed on a second child.  I am not sure if that makes him different, but I am different.  It certainly takes less energy to just enjoy him as opposed to worrying about him all the time about things that I could never change. It also makes me more sensitive to the ways I raised Brenton in his first years until his brother arrived.

Brenton learning to share has been good for him.  It has been a struggle at times.  He does not have the communication skills to tell us certain things about his feelings yet and as a result he can experience high levels of frustration. His brother helps him through it.  He makes him laugh or tries to help in small ways.  It is amazing how someone so small can light up a room.  Both of my children possess intrinsic gifts of drawing people into their worlds.  Brenton is very social and engaging while Emerson is joyful and kind.  They complement each other.

I think a lot about the fact that Emerson makes a wonderful brother to Brenton and vice versa and think about the years to come.  I know that I still wish to have one more child.  One more will complete our family.  Three feels right.  In the here and now though, I am thoroughly enjoying the early years of the life with our second child. He is pure sunshine and light!