I don't know your name, little one, although I heard you have been named after your father. Questionable move, considering your daddy's legal woes, but that's beside the point. I wanted to say hello, though, and give you a proper welcome.
I'm the lady who used to be married to your daddy. I'm the mommy to your four half-siblings. You'll probably hear me referred to as "Psycho" or "Fat Ass", but just for the record, my name is Jenny. I was married to your daddy for 12 years, right up until he and your mommy met and fell in love.
Your mommy was married, too. I don't know much about that whole situation, other than she moved far away with that first husband and while she was gone, your daddy decided to give me and our four kids a second chance. It was going swell until your mommy decided that she wanted to be with your daddy, left her first husband and came back to Minnesota to get mine.
But that's all ancient history. I wanted to talk to you about what your birth means to my kids.
A little bird had told me of your arrival earlier this week, and when your daddy sent me a text asking if it was ok that he didn't take the kids for his Thursday dinner hour time slot I figured you were coming home. Because, after all, why in the world would anyone want their new baby greeted by it's four older siblings? I can hardly imagine anything more horrifying.
See, Spawn, this is the part that sticks in my craw. Your daddy has been through the new baby routine four time prior to this. And not once, during any of those other new baby times did he have the luxury of pawning the older sibs off on anyone when the newest member of the family was brought home. Not once. Because, first of all, why? Why would you not let one of the older, preexisting children not be there to meet the baby when it's brought home? But then I thought about it. Your mommy and daddy didn't even tell these same kids that they were getting married. They didn't have them there at the wedding. They only told them afterwards, like "Oh the weekend was great. Good weather, great food..oh yeah, and we got married."
So I kind of see how they wouldn't exactly make your introduction to the family a family thing at all.
Your mommy, Spawn, boy is she something. I think it's funny how someone could snag a guy with four kids and then do everything in her power to make those four kids as invisible as she can. It's my humble opinion, Spawn, that if you decide to go ahead and marry a man who's already a daddy, you know damn well what you're signing up for. Including the kids he's already made.
I don't know if she had you to sink her claws even deeper into him, if she thought it would make their relationship legitimate, not so shady and creepy, or if she honestly thought it was a good idea to bring another life into this world with your daddy.
Whatever the reason, you're here. And I will not say anything awful or nasty about you. Begrudging a baby for being born is like cursing the raindrops for falling from the sky.
But I worry, Spawn. I worry because that's my jam. It's what I do, it's how I roll and whatever other trite expression you want to insert here.
I worry because I'm the mommy of your four older siblings, and I've seen the damage that your parents have caused already. I've dealt with your oldest brother, Charlie, and his fractured psyche, ever since the day your daddy left us. You see, Spawn, your daddy took off at what was probably the worst possible time to leave a boy. He was 10, and his toes were just barely touching the shore of that murky pond we call Puberty. His emotions were a wiry tangled mess already, and having his father seemingly disappear into the night really did a number on him.
I've seen the father/daughter relationship between your big sister Molly and your daddy crumble before my eyes. She has seen your daddy maybe 10 days so far this year. Ten days. I remember when she was your size...your daddy would hold her on the couch and called her "Daddy's girl." Yesterday, she asked me if I'd go get some lunch for her. Some not so healthy lunch. I said no, and she replied, "Hey, come on...my dad doesn't like me, get me some food!". She said it in a joking manner, but the underlying emotion was real.
I saw your older brother Henry's eyes well up when he found out that you had made your appearance and that his company was not welcome. Out of all of your siblings, I think you'll find Henry to be the most tender, despite his South Park-like demeanor at times. Oh yes, Spawn, this will be the brother who teaches you all about swearing and how to do it with great aplomb, but don't let that fool you. Henry's heart is big, and soft. Like a cushy mattress. He wants to love you, and seeing those tears when he heard your homecoming was not all-inclusive made my own heart flinch.
And William...he is the baby of your daddy's family. He's been on the fence about your arrival. He told me he was kind of excited to see you but that it was going to be weird to not be the youngest. I told him, "You'll always be the youngest in this house."
I guess that's going to be the strangest part of your arrival for my kids. Their entire lives, things have been one way. There has always been a birth order, a seating arrangement at the table of life. Your arrival won't do a thing to change that as far as it goes with me, but with their daddy, all is different now. You being here is another upheaval for them. Whether it's good, bad or neutral remains to be seen.
Having a new baby in your life changes people temporarily. Women become more emotional, more loving, more understanding. Pregnancy and nursing hormones usually do their job, and even the coldest and most selfish among us become, for a while, nurturing and motherly.
New dads, when they are in the picture, tend to become a little more puffy-chested. Proof that their seed is powerful and really does make babies is life affirming to them, and if they could drag a club behind them and beat their chests while announcing a birth, they would. I know for your daddy, having babies changes him for a bit. Having a new kid always lit a fire under him. He vowed to me, a few times over, to be a better man. A better husband. A better dad. Something about seeing a fresh, perfect new life gives men a glimpse at their own lives. It reminds them of what they've done right, and also shines some light on what they've done wrong.
I'm hopeful that having you will help your mommy see what it's like to have a piece of your heart living outside your body. What it's like to think about your child every second of the day, to worry about them and to want nothing but the best for them. I'm hopeful that by having you, she will perhaps get some idea of how I feel about your siblings, my own babies. I hope that she never has to go through the pain of being separated from you, of having to give you up every other weekend and to spend holidays and birthdays away from you and in the company of people she's never met. But if she does, maybe now she'll understand me a little more. Maybe she'll treat my babies with a little more compassion now that she's had one of her own.
And your father? I don't know. I do know that I hope he does right by you. I hope that this fifth try at fatherhood turns out better than the previous four. I hope that by having you, he softens up a bit and decides to face the mistakes he's made. I hope that he looks at you and remembers his first four kids at that age, when there was no baggage, no hurt.
When there was nothing but possibilities and that new baby smell.
Welcome to the world, Spawn.