March 23rd, 2010: Stein Shilova

My story about March 23rd doesn’t begin in SL or near a computer at all. It starts in the operating room of an Oregon hospital at 7:30am on an otherwise unimpressive March morning. I’d been cut open hip to hip during an emergency cesarean section and in the throes of what my cardiologist deemed a “cardiac episode” and all I could do was bargain with G-d for my crinkly 8lb girl with an Apgar score of one who was wrenched out of me and fighting as hard to hang on as I was.

I spent her first birthday in another flourescent-lit room in a different hospital, holding my grandma’s hand and watching her waste away from metastatic pancreatic cancer. I waited until her morphine kicked in before I slunk out to the waiting area to whisper happy birthday over the phone, my heart aching for where I was and where I wish I were instead.

Another year passed and I was sick as a dog laid up in bed. I wasn’t even able to get up long enough to go buy a cake for her. I took enough cold meds to get up and tuck her into bed and promise her that next year would be better.

Today. Today marks three years of me as a parent. I will spend my day indulging my daughter’s every whim and spoiling her absolutely rotten. While it’s all for her, it’s really for me. It’s for the me laying on that operating table with all my insides on the outside and praying that my child will start to breathe on her own. It’s for the me that was in that hospital room, holding my grandma’s jaundiced hand instead of my child’s. It’s for the me that was too sick to even hug her, let alone wrap up her presents in foofy paper the way I like.

Maybe that’s the way this goes. I do something for her and it’s really for me, so perhaps all the things I do for me are really for her. Maybe to be a parent you have to be as selfish as you are selfless. I guess we’ll just have to tune in and see what happens next year.


Stein Shilova is a chef and lives in New York with her family. She enjoys building and goofing off in SL when she’s not running after her child or cooking.


6 Responses to “March 23rd, 2010: Stein Shilova”

  1. Jennaa Loire Says:

    Truly one of the most beautiful, gut wrenching and inspiring posts I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I hope that you and your lovely daughter have many more wonderful birthdays together filled with memories that will last both your lifetimes.

  2. Krissy Muggleston Says:

    Thanks for sharing, I connected with this post in several ways. The picture is darling.

  3. chestnutrau Says:

    What is that saying? “Being a mom is like living with your heart outside your body.” Something like that anyway. You have captured that emotion beautifully.

    You adorable daughter is lucky to have such a talented mama.

  4. Katey Says:

    Dear Stein,

    You made me cry and I’m ok with it. Sorry for being a pussy.

    Please hug your daughter for the internet people, extra hard



  5. Horrid Twine Says:

    I am loathe to leave open comments, but this one I will say to you as once you said it to me about someone else.

    You, Lady, are a very good egg.

    So much love and respect.

  6. Keiko Says:

    Jag får tårar i ögonen när jag läser dina ord. All lycka lady, jag menar det. All lycka till dig.

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