Friday, July 13, 2012

Wish Upon a Star

When I was in high school, I used to wish upon a star to marry my husband, Jon. Every shooting star I saw, I hoped he would ask me to marry him. Once, in a state of hormone-filled loved, I asked him to marry me.

He looked like I had asked him to cut off his left foot with a rusty saw. So I kept on wishing.

Two engagements and eight years later, we did get married. So no more wishing on stars, right?


Two years later, we tried to conceive our first child. Unfortunately, my body was a mess from taking hormonal birth control, and trying to get all of that junk out of my system was quite a challenge. After being so responsible during my early adult years, not getting pregnant and earning my bachelor's degree, then my master's degree, it felt like I deserved to get pregnant quickly.

I love children and I wanted to be a mommy in the worst way. I distinctly recall going to our local bakery one Saturday morning several months after we started trying to conceive. There was a mom there with her four year old son. She ordered coffee and a pastry and told her son to pick what he wanted. He chose a gigantic mint brownie and chocolate milk, as she smiled in a way that said that this was OK with her because it was a special morning. I looked on, wistfully, knowing that these were the moments that I ached for.

And then I cried all the way home and stuffed myself full of doughnuts.

That summer, there seemed to be many meteor showers. Jon and I would hear them announce one on the news and we would wait all day to spend the evening on a blanket, under the stars, pointing out the ones that streaked by to each other. Perfect moments to wish for my baby.

Nine months later, after we had tried for 15 months and I had started giving up hope that we would conceive naturally, I found out that I was pregnant.

Just like marriage, the beginning of motherhood was not easy. But, when I take Amelia out for lunch and she leans over to kiss me and pats my arm while saying "Aww!!", I remember that moment in the bakery and realize that my special memories of motherhood are being made, right now.

At that point, what was there left to wish for?

A job. For my husband.

My entire pregnancy, Jon attended the police academy at our local community college. He had already been in the Marine Reserves for six years and earned his bachelor's degree. During the police academy and the first two trimesters of pregnancy, he worked from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., then would attend the academy from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. No joke. In some ways, it was the perfect time for me to be pregnant, since Jon got to skip witnessing some of my hormonal swings and I could sleep my little exhausted heart out. And, with a baby on the way, the extra income that a police officer's salary would bring was welcome.

That only took 1.5 years of wishing on stars to accomplish. But it finally did happen.

Last week, on a nice evening after Amelia went to bed, Jon started a bonfire and we sat together, fingers intertwined while we gazed at both the fire's flames and the sky's stars. That's when it happened. I saw a shooting star.

And I had nothing to wish for.

That's not to say that my life is perfect. No one's is. Nor do I believe that all this wishing I do has resulted in our good fortune. I believe that prayer and spirituality, along with a strong marriage, have carried us through the past few years. It still does now, every day. When Jon is stressed over his new, much more stressful and demanding job, it does not seem like a charmed life. But, during that moment by the fire, I realized how much I have, and how very grateful I am.

Wishes do come true.


Brittany said...

Absolutely beautiful, Amanda!

JAC1961 said...

Rotten damn kid... you made your old man choke up and get a little teary. Very well written and beautiful sentiment. You deserve all the good that comes your way. : )