Ruby -- my third, my last, my baby -- was born six years ago today.
I remember seizing with joy and relief as I clutched her tiny body to my chest for the first time. It had been four years since Oscar's nightmarish birth, but the images of his blue floppy limbs lingered at the edges of the room until Ruby's lusty cry chased them away.
The boys were in school when she was born but came directly to the hospital afterwards. Oscar arrived first and enjoyed some moments with his new sister. He wasn't jealous, just curious.
"How did the doctor's make the fingers?" he wanted to know.
Abe arrived a little while later and immediately wanted to hold Ruby. He carefully inspected her long delicate fingers and caressed her mottled pink cheek.
He was only two when Oscar was born and though I doubt he recalls the details, I'm sure the shadows of that scary day were lurking in the depths of his memory too. He was also starting to grapple with the reality of having a brother with PWS. Ruby's birth, in all its loud and sleepless glory, was probably as healing for him as it was for us.
After holding her for a long while he gently laid her down beside me and said "Mom, can you keep an eye on Ruby while I go to the bathroom?" (These boys of mine took this big brother business seriously from the start.)
Tonight at dinner we honored Ruby, following a tradition borrowed from school. Abe honored Ruby for trading sillybandz with him. Oscar honored Ruby for playing farm and pretend house. I honored Ruby for her strength and for always speaking up for what she needs even though she's the youngest in our busy household. (Everyone laughed at that because Ruby is the loudest, most outspoken person in our family and doesn't really need any more encouragement to state her needs.) And Paul honored Ruby for the nice conversations they have while hiking and biking.
Happy birthday sweet girl! We're so glad you're here!