WRITTEN FOR MY GIDEON, ON HIS 16TH BIRTHDAY
I was twenty-three. It was June and I had all the doors and windows open to the summer. I took the test, flipped it over, and walked outside to pick a few wild flowers for the bathroom vase. I didn’t even make it to the porch before turning around and running back. I knew it hadn’t had enough time, but I flipped it over to check anyway. PREGNANT, it read. I cupped my hand over my mouth, tears sprang to my eyes and I sank to the ground, clutching the test.
I didn’t tell anyone the first day. I held you in my heart and savored. I remember turning the music up and dancing like a crazy person in my living room, curtains blowing around me, the sun streaming through. And I sang from the the deepest part, even though I can’t sing, I belted out all my praise. It sounds funny now, but it was like God opened up heaven just for me. This was the day I became a mother.
I fit in the crook of your strong arm. Your laugh booms and fills a room. You are intense, magnetic, kind, driven. You’re an actual man now. It’s hard to imagine that I only have two years left with my baby.
My arms will empty out soon. The thought shakes my core. I don’t know how it has gone so fast. But I’m going to savor every moment I have, son. And even when you leave my fold, I’m going to hold you in my heart. I’ll never let you go. I will turn my music up again and again, I’ll sing and shout from the mountain-top of my heart, I’ll dance forever for the gift that you are.