Friday, April 9, 2010

Elia 7.0

The Smell turned 7 yesterday. It seems like she was just born - isn't that what all parents say? It seems like I was just walking into our third floor apartment in Chicago, holding my sweet new baby girl. She was 9 pounds exactly, big for a first one, I was told, but she felt so small and breakable. She had jaundice and billirubin levels that were too high for comfort, so she spent her first weekend of life in a little light box in the hospital. I stayed with her, scared. I cried and prayed she would be ok. Oh, if only I knew how easy we had it! A couple days under a tanning light and she was perfect - to think I had worried so much, there were other mothers out there with much worse things happening to their perfect new babies. But with the tunnel vision that all new mothers have, I felt as if a little jaundice would ruin, ruin!, us forever!

Elita was a good first baby. She took it easy on us. She slept right, she ate right, she pooped A LOT, she was happy and smiley. She had just the right temperament for a nervous mami and papi who were not quite sure what they were doing, but they wanted it to be right.

On Elia's first visit to soup kitchen she was two weeks old. All the Puerto Rican and Mexican ladies in the church office (Hi Madrina!!) tskd at the lack of blankets, the lack of bundling, and the fact that I had left the house with a newborn. We took her into soup and plopped her in the waiting arms of the many volunteers who were eager to meet her. I remember having a fleeting thought about germs, but the urge to keep her clean was not quite as strong as the urge to fit her seamlessly into our work. We wanted to take our baby everywhere with us. We didn't want to be afraid, we wanted to show her life!

Two days a week Elia would go with me to LaSalle Flowers and either sleep in a little box or stay cradled on my chest or back while I designed. She brought smiles to customers faces, she slept well and was spoiled rotten by my co-workers. Those were happy days.

The sweet girl is still sweet. She has accepted our crazy idea of an old people's home without any fuss. She was worried about having old people "they are kind of weird". But she is the most conscientious and sweet with Lois. Elia includes Lois in our goings on and enjoys hanging out with her. Of course she would hang out with Lois! Lois has a TV in her room! And snacks! Who wouldn't want to be there?

Elia has recently discovered comic books (just like her mama, yes!) and she devours them. I'm struggling to find appropriate comics in the young adult section of our library, since she has read all the comics in the juvenile section. Elia is super creative and willing to try anything. She loves other people and she loves making new friends. She has a sweet and kind heart.

We love our sweet Elia and are so grateful to have her.

Happy Birthday, Elita!!


clairesd said...

Happy Birthday! Your mami tells the truth, you were a happy baby, as long as you were with her. I have photos from my wedding where you are curled up asleep, in the middle of crazy heat and noise!
I hope 7 is your best year yet!

Beth Hanna said...

Happy birthday, Elia! I loved your little interview! I´m sending a box for ALL of you to celebrate ALL of your birthdays!! Have fun and be sure I get some pictures! Love you.

Alan & Beth McManus said...

she's so sure she's only seven years old?!? wow...growing up and so articulate and full of vim and vigor (whatever that is!)...lots of life in her little body and eyes (true of all four of the kiddos)

enjoy your Sunday...from ABCD

Beth said...

So precious this post.

Plus, I love that you love comic books. Me not so much but my husband and Thomas- oh yes. When he is not drawing, Thomas has his head buried in Star Wars and Transformers comic books.