This is the time of year when the pelicans return to our part of the country. Yes, we’re landlocked with corn fields all around, but there are also lots of lakes and wetlands and those bring pelicans for a good part of the year.
I love pelicans. I would love them just for their lovely mixture of goofiness and beauty, but they are special to me too because of what they represent.
Almost 12 years ago, I was riding in the car on the way to the doctor to deal with my twelvth miscarriage. That was the pregnancy that was going to be different, the one the doctor assured me was fine despite all my worries. In my fourth month, the bleeding began and my worries were confirmed.
I remember looking out the window at the empty lakes, missing the pelicans. They had already moved on because of fall. I remember thinking that winter was coming, again. Loss and cold was coming, again. And I remember thinking that something must inevitably change. I didn’t know which way, only that things couldn’t go on like that forever.
That miscarriage led to complications and surgery and more complications and lots of physical and emotional pain. It started in September and ended with emergency surgery in January. The lakes were frozen. There was no life anywhere. It seemed like forever.
That was the last miscarriage where a doctor didn’t take me seriously. After that, I was sent to specialists and millions of tests were run (amazing how good medical insurance opens up doors like that).
When I got pregnant a year later, I didn’t dare hope. I had weekly shots that made me massively ill and pills to take daily. They told me there was a good chance it would keep me from miscarrying but I was numb until the third trimester.
On May 1, 1998, 10 years ago today, Victoria was born. She was the first of 4 miracle babies, after so much grief and longing.
I never forget how much I missed these kids before I got to have them.
I don’t homeschool because of inferior schools or what they do or do not teach in them. I homeschool because I love these wonderful little people and I’m still elated that I get to keep them. How could I send them away to a box all day when I could be learning, painting, growing, reading, exploring, teaching, talking, experimenting, helping and being with them?
We go driving now and the van is full of noise and chaos. Anna is singing, Jack is playing Pixter, Alex is babbling, Daddy is telling stories and Victoria is asking questions and telling everybody to hush up. And I look out the window at the silent groups of those quirky, graceful pelicans and feel so blessed.