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I feel the heart beat in my hand. She looks at me with those gorgeous blue-ringed eyes. Wide open and brand new, that's what she is, she is my first child. My angel, born on April 24 of 1996. She is part of me. The farmhouse she grows up in will mean nothing to her when she hears that was her first home. But to me, that is where my baby grew, before my eyes.
Tracy is two. Time is ticking in my head of these nine months, counting till my new face will arrive in my arms. Tracy is the reason for that and one day I will tell her that's why we had as many as we did. She is the golden child in my head, even though she barely says words correctly. So I wait, and Charlie, my husband, holds my hand, and watches my stomach expand, with Tracy. She loves her dad, and I know that from the first years when I worked. I would come home from crying, dying, suffering children, only to see another child on my husbands lap when I get home. It kills me inside, to see the resemblance between her, and the two year old kids with tubes in their mouths. There are fates worse than death. Then Jack is born.
Moving. Where do I start? Tracy is still too young to recollect any memories, and she won't remember this one. It's a small house anyway, nothing fancy.But we needed somewhere away from farms. Charlie grew up on a farm, you know. So it's better here. We won't stay for long. This isn't a good school district area, but it's close enough to Charlies work, and I quit being a nurse so it works, we manage. Tracy will go to preschool in Chelsea with Michelle and her daughter, who Tracy has become friends with, Alex. We go through the schedule each day;Charlie heads off to Brighton, I wake up my angel and take her to her "school", and it repeats. Then sometimes after her school, she has her play dates. She is so outgoing in my mind. I watch her shape and mold and share with her peers. Alex and her are the cutest little friends I will ever meet.
We move again. This time we have chosen Dexter, a small town, which is what Charlie craves, and a large house, just in case. Tracy is a little discouraged about it, but she still sees her friends, so I know she's fine. We still go through the same routine;Charlie goes to work, then I drop off my little kid at school, etc. But the only difference in the hole spiel is that this time the little kid going to preschool is Jack, and Tracy has entered her new world of kindergarten. This first day was a little shaky for her, but after that, it was all uphill. She has made many friends, and doesn't hold back on telling me about them. So everything is going well. Plus, my parents plan on moving from their little lakeside house in Holland Michigan, to even smaller Dexter. But it's what they really want, I can tell, even if my mom complains sometimes. So all is well, no worries.
Tracy stares at the older kids, practicing in the lap pool. I can see she wants to jump in so bad, but she just doesn't know. Doesn't know they will show no mercy on her when she is the last to the wall. I know, I've done that before. So first we start out with swim lessons. Every Saturday, and I can see she is improving, it's all starting to come together in her brain, but she still isn't great, isn't gifted. She has a good teacher though, so even though she still flaps around in the water a lot, it will piece together, and her muscles and brain will soon work as one to help her achieve this dream.
Charlie sees the flier Tracy has brought home. He immediately jumps at the chance to get her to at least try. He loved it, and he loves her, so why wouldn't she want to love it too.
"So Tracy, do you want to try? It's just Little League, and I hear you're friend Liz is going to go too, why not?"
"Well, okay I guess. Yeah, sure."
I see Charlie's satisfaction as Tracy goes back to reading another book.
A third, and a fourth. With names, of course. And faces, cute ones too. Kevin has fuzzy yellow hair, and is the tiniest, even smaller than what Tracy was when she was one. He looks like a little duckling, and he loves his momma duck so much, he seems to never let me out of his sights. Then, no one can forget Natalie. She's well,she's sassy, and squeaky, and surprisingly similar to me. Tracy loves them. She loves to play with them, and as they grow, she loves to babysit them, and help them. She loves them so much. She is their big sista Twacy, and they love her too. Jack , not to be forgotten, loves them, I know, but comes across as more of a strict father to them, which is depressing to me, but I can't put my finger on it.
Maybe he just needs space to grow. Now that we have more kids, there are more trips to sports, and meetings with teachers, and driving them to friend's houses. Tracy has a passion for books, and is a good writer. Jack is in love with history, this year it's war. If you ask him any question on any ancient, or recent war, he will know. Kevin is still glued to me. He's little mister social too, which just makes me laugh. Then there's Natalie; while I love her, she certainly hasn't lost the sassy squeakiness that makes her who she is. This is Tracy's family, this is who makes her, her.