This time of year, late fall, has become very special for us as a family. Not only is it a time of great change in nature (i.e leaves changing colors, temperature dropping, a decrease in daylight hours), but it also marks the anniversary of our initiation into parenthood.
Our son/sun LaPharaoh was born November 24th, 2011, the 4th Thursday of the month, which coincidentally enough was also Thanksgiving that year… boy, we had oh so much to be thankful for. What a gift… the gift of life, the greatest gift if you ask me.
I still remember how green we were leading up to the event. We wanted the best for our family and we understood how blessed we were for the opportunity to be fruitful and replenish the earth. Sons and daughters are born around the world every day, but this was our first, so naturally, this became our first chance to learn about the true art of parenthood.
We did have some ideas of what parenthood could be like (so we thought), I was the eldest of 3 and played a very integral role in helping to raise my siblings and Hannah learned some valuable lessons early on with the birth of her niece Faith. So basically we had been to the game before, but this was our first time being on the court and in uniform. We treated the whole experience like we were…well, new to it all. We asked family and friends questions, we attended classes on breastfeeding and Lamaze breathing, we read books (i.e Birthing From Within) and watched informative documentaries on the birthing experience (i.e The Business of Being Born). In retrospect, we did take a very proactive approach to this whole parenthood thing and were often praised by professionals in the field for taking initiative and our diligence in doing so. Not sure if the praise was warranted but it did offer some positive reinforcements for our 26 and 23-year-old egos. In all honesty, we just thought we were doing the logical thing…If you don’t exaaaaactly know, put yourself in position to find out and that’s what we did. All our research efforts were very time/energy consuming, yet exciting and empowering, this turned out to be the EASY PART! Ultimately, after some soul searching and hardcore deliberation, we decided to go with an all natural home birth. It didn’t take much time for us to find the best midwives in the business over at Heartspace Midwifery in Troy, New York. Post-decision, almost in a blink of the eye, a great deal of our support evaporated, most likely due to FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). The idea of a home birth was such a foreign concept to everyone that we were taken on multiple guilt trips that I don’t recall having boarding passes for. No worries though, we’re a determined and resilient bunch who were well informed and had the full support of our amazing midwives Heidi and Maureen. We were in uncharted territory but they comforted us every step of the way. As time continued to unfold we made other key lifestyle changes that would shape the way we parent, things that hold true even to this day, the biggest of which were upgrades to our nutritional and spiritual health. The mere thought of us becoming parents transformed us in ways that may not have been possible or probable in any other case and we are truly thankful for it all. They say when the student is ready the teacher will appear and many teachers and teachings came about from our journey into parenthood.
LaPharaoh with Great Great Grandma (who also shared the same birthday)
Fast forward to today, we have reached out to our extended family over at Heartspace to see if they would do us the great honor of “catching” our 4th child this upcoming year. It’s been a wild ride and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. We will forever be students of life and we enjoy learning as much as we can about the world around us. So here’s to parenthood, to the circle of life, to love and a super special shout-out to my main man, my little guy, my heart, LaPharaoh.
We love you so much and as you celebrate your solar return, marking your 6th trip around the Sun, we celebrate with you, our parental anniversary and a truly amazing reflection of our light.