My pregnancy with her was totally unplanned, and initially really unwanted. I had just moved to Hawaii. I wanted to enjoy the tropics and work off the rest of my weight and get a crochet business started and a hundred other things that didn't include a third child. More to the point, Linda was nowhere near mature enough to become a big sister. I wanted to let her be the baby for a while longer...Oh, but I needed her. I remember watching "Roseanne" once as a kid, the TV show not just the comedienne, and she was talking with DJ. One of his sisters had told him he was an accident, and his mother said he wasn't an accident, he was a surprise. He asked her what the difference was. "A surprise," she said, "is something you don't know you want until you get it."
Esther is a surprise. I didn't know how much I wanted, no needed her until I had her. There is something so special about her, something I cannot even explain. Some calmness that she exudes, that I absorb through my pores when I hold her.
(Isn't the internet amazing with what you can find?)
I tell Esther even now that she was my surprise baby, and I quote that line about what a surprise is, because it's so true. She is proud of being my surprise, I'll tell you that.
About her name: Esther is the name of one of my friends from high school; had I been thinking I would have used Hester instead. What can I say, I loved The Scarlet Letter. Rosemary is for three reasons: one, Mary means bitter, so pair it with Rose and you have the connotation of "bittersweet", which very much fit my outlook on life at the time. Second, I just like the meaning of the name--it actually isn't a simple combo name as it appears to be; it means "sea dew", which is a bit silly but fit as the ex was still in the Navy at the time. Third, and most importantly, the herb rosemary is for remembrance, and my brother's daughter's middle name was Rose. Joy is a name I've wanted to use since I was a teenager; my ex kept saying no but I made what I'll refer to as an executive decision and threw it in there.
There was never a hiccup in nursing her. She was the only baby who would happily take naps on her own, and I could even lay her down partially awake and she'd fall asleep on her own. It was magical. She had this air about her that just made me relax. No matter how bad the rest of my life was, when she was in my arms, it was perfect.
She has that same wonky sense of humor. She's a little out of step with most people, which is just fine by me. She likes snakes, and mice, and bugs and wants to make every single creepy-crawly she comes across into her pet.
The old laid-back attitude is all but gone. She's still very good-natured, but she goes 90 miles an hour now, and she is very strong-willed (really, what child isn't, though?)
She is very, very smart. Once upon a time when she was two, she was tested and found to (at the time) have "off the charts" verbal skills. She is also very good at getting her sisters to do what she wants them to. She was the stereotypical baby of the family for a very long time, and she was good at it.
She has never met a stranger. She has no clue that there might be people in this world who do not like her. She is friendly, and sweet. And has a bad habit of telling complete strangers family business, completely apropos of nothing. It's my own fault--little pitchers have big ears--and embarrassing as hell, but you can't really be angry with her over it.
She never hesitates to speak her mind. I love that.
She is little, so she still feels like my baby. She will come in early in the morning and lie down at the foot of the bed. She is starting to burn off that baby chub and turn into a little girl, and that makes me kind of sad, to tell the truth. She is growing up fast.
Esther will start school this year. I could have sent her to pre-K, but chose not to, much to the confusion of pretty much everybody. I wanted to keep her with me that extra year, though, to give her more time to be her, because of course the government school system isn't exactly friendly to free spirited kids. And I would have missed her horribly, to tell the truth. I will miss her when she's in school.
I do kinda feel sorry for her teachers, though. I'll have to make doubly sure they have my phone number. I foresee many calls from the principal in our future...