It's Ike's birthday tomorrow. But bear with me for just a second.
I'd never even heard of Alabama Shakes before they were on SNL back in February. Jason and I were sitting on the couch (on Sunday morning, naturally, watching a recording because we never stay up that late anymore) when they first took the stage and started to play "Hold On." We both sort of...froze after a minute, as we were hit with that thunderstruck feeling you get when you hear music that you just really, really love.
And I loved everything about them. The rich, Janis-like voice coming from the lead singer; the crazy, completely unselfconscious way she contorted her mouth to create bluesy, primal sounds; the way the whole band let the song casually, effortlessly unfurl with a slow burn to a frenzied climax without thrashing around on stage or pyrotechnics or or props or naked body paint dipped in glitter. Just good, old-fashioned rocking the hell out. It probably took me all of 30 seconds to go from "Who?" to "Holy shit, I need this music in my life every single day from now on."
When the song was over, Jason and I looked at each other.
"WHOA," we said, in unison.
There was so much going through my head on the day Ike was born, most of it of the second-guessing variety. Another baby. Another boy baby. Another c-section birth, another breastfeeding crapshoot. Easy baby vs. difficult. Typical vs. special needs. Another whole damn child, what were we thinking?
I remember pushing all those thoughts aside on the operating table and focusing on the acoustic ceiling tiles. It was my third time in the same operating room. I'd been prepped for the birth on the very same bed where I'd been prepped for Ezra's birth, and the very same bed where I'd had to unfortunately labor for several hours prior to Noah's birth, while waiting for a birthing suite to open up. One did, eventually, but I ultimately ended up back in this very same operating room.
Another baby. Another boy baby. Another another, more of the same, just more and probably harder. Because ANOTHER.
And then I heard him cry.
And I was thunderstruck. Emotions exploded out of my chest and up through my face, and all of them were happy and good. I loved everything about him already. He was perfect, already. I couldn't remember life without him, already.
For the third time, Jason brought me a squished, closed-eyed little newborn, wrapped in the same hospital blanket, wearing the same pink and blue hospital hat. For the third time, I kissed his swollen cheeks over and over and pushed back the edge of the hat to see his hair. For the third time, Jason and I looked at each other.
"WHOA," we said, in unison.
You are two years old now. You are still everything. You are still perfect. You make me laugh and smile every single day, and you surprise me just as often. There is nothing "another" about you, because you are you. You are the one we didn't even realize we were all waiting for, and I am so happy and grateful to have you in my life, every single day, from now on.
Music: "Hold On" by Alabama Shakes