It wasn’t though.
We had our youngest not because we wanted to, but because we knew that we needed to. It wasn’t a decision that we joyfully sang out to the world. It was something we begrudgingly accepted, the way my sixth-grader faces homework.
We weren’t giddy with anticipation. We knew that our complex life was going to get harder; the fourth boy followed our two children on the autism spectrum.
The pregnancy felled me. Henry scowled by my bed and said, “You’re always tired.” I became an automaton, plodding through a brown fog.
Six weeks too early, my water broke and Truman arrived. He couldn’t breathe and went by ambulance transport to a bigger hospital with a better NICU. He stayed for a month while he grew and learned to eat without gavage feeds.
Two of his older brothers went off the rails at the changing family dynamic.
While my littlest’s birth amplified our vortex of difficulty, my watershed moment came two months later, at bedtime, in the basement, next to Charlie’s bunk bed.
I tapped at my iPad, writing a journal entry about the havoc unwittingly wrought by our baby’s birth. As I wrote, I realized I wasn’t telling myself the story of our family. I was telling it to an audience of people who knew us, but who didn’t really know.
After years of balking at the prospect of blogging, I did a fast, sloppy one-eighty and googled ‘how to start a blog.’
And so on that black January night, beside my sleep-defiant son’s bed, I stopped explaining my life to myself, and started explaining it to everyone else.
I wrote about Code Browns. I wrote about destruction of property by children seeking sensory input. I wrote about Jack running away from school, and the school not realizing it until the woman whose kitchen he burst into called the principal.
I wrote about being housebound all winter with a preemie. I wrote about my deep-seated hatred for Pinterest. I wrote about the time Jack told his brother to shut up, and we laughed and cheered at hearing him speak.
I wrote about all the bizarre things that are everyday happenings in my funny little family.
I pecked at my keyboard, and released something winged from inside my chest.
There is real freedom in telling the truth.