A repost from my old blog. A letter to my son who was born with a congenital heart defect. It’s his birthday today. Happy Birthday baby boy. I love you so much!
I haven’t talked about him. He’s here of course, spread extensively throughout my blog but my words barely scratch the surface of who he is. My fingers drum across the keys and speak in foreign tongues. Lasics, congenital, ventricular septal defects; over and over I have labelled him. But there isn’t truth here, not really. Nothing that speaks to who he is.
I love him so much this boy of mine. He alone has the ability to coax me out of a mood that’s dark and deep and so damn awful. He holds my stare until I acknowledge him, and then he smiles as if to say “there you are”. He makes me want this world. He makes it beautiful. He glows. I can’t explain it, there’s just something about him.
He demands attention even while not actively searching for it; and people want to touch him, ache to hold him, long to tease that smile from his somber face, but he’s not easily enamoured by anyone. He’s vibrant like a sunbeam you can feel, but he’ll skirt your hand and flee your touch if you move too quick or demand too much.
He dances too. This crazy, goofy dance. He uses his whole body and moves expertly to the music. No matter what I’m doing I have to stop and watch. Occasionally he’ll toddle over to me and grunt. His arms raised above his head, his eyes pleading. We’ll move together – swaying like a willow tree caught in the winds gentle caress. And I’ll live there for a beat or two – perfectly content.
Mischief is his creed. His siblings aren’t interested in him. They refuse to call him by name and instead refer to him merely as “Little Guy”. They push him from their games and ignore his pleas to play. When the rejection becomes too much he’ll steal a crayon or toss a toy across the room, and then giggle excitedly when his name is finally screamed. “PRESTON!” Their faces red and spittle flies and I have to stop them before accusations turn violent.
Without a doubt, they also love him. I’m not sure they have much of a choice. He’s enigmatic and full of character and not one person can deny what shines beneath his surface. He’s brilliant and like a shooting star I have nothing but wishes when I look upon him.
And my wish is simply this. That I have not jinxed him. Here now, before me, is proof of his brilliance. No more foreign tongues, no more medical lingo. He is not his defect. He is so much more and I’ve seen it since the day he was born. But I
could not write it. I could not put it down in words. I could not testify to his impact. In truth, I refused to make it real.
When I faced the possibility of burying him I did what any practical person might do. I listened to the doctors, I followed all their orders, and then I practised the impractical. I called him Puck for the longest time, his true name never
crossing my lips. I refused to mail off his birth information, fearful I might have to eventually apply for a death certificate. And I never wrote a single word that spoke about the enormousness of his being because what he is – is a
love I cannot touch with all the breadth of my words.
I live my life in moments now, but it doesn’t negate my ache to live a million or more with the boy who changed my life.
I love you Preston