Thirteen years ago at this moment I was in hard labor. Hard. My husband was sleeping because he was “really tired.” He actually said those words, you guys! Still not over it, but it did provide a story I can, and sometimes do, hold over him. And we laugh about it now, as he appropriately smirks, shakes and mock hangs his head. It’s all good, y’all. Look what we got for that labor: A teenager! (not the dog)
Happy 1-3 to my firstborn. You were so worth the nine days’ wait past your due date. I sometimes miss your gooey baby smile and gentle toddler ways. I miss your soft, blonde baby head, your then-blue eyes sparkling at me when I was the center of your world. I miss the cute toddler things you would say as you developed command of language–“Nice to coming!” (a cute mashup of nice to meet you and thanks for coming) or “Mama, pick me down” (well, what else would be the opposite of pick me up?) And I miss thinking you’d grow out of that clumsy gait; I miss waiting for you to grow into your muscles. Now we know.
I’ll never not hate that you have this stupid disease, but am grateful to have connected with many lovely humans in the blogosphere because of it. Because of MD, you good people around the globe wish him well. Because of MD, I found a voice here, and while I wish I never needed to find that voice, well, here you are listening. I thank you. Because of MD, he has the opportunity for summer camp. It really was his best week of the year.
But hear me, muscular dystrophy, I am NOT grateful for you. You suck. You’re a mean, terrible, hurtful bully, and I despise you, even though that sounds middle school-y. When I reflect on my thirteen years as a mother, I lack capacity to relate the hundreds and thousands of glad-hearted lessons I’ve learned. Sure, I miss blissful unawareness, but being my kid’s mom has brought joy into my life that I’d never know were I not his parent.
I would love to post a beautifully-worded summary of my year-and-three-quarters as a mother whose child has muscular dystrophy, something profound and meaningful, maybe inspirational for others in my shoes. Something perfect that everyone would hold up and proclaim: THIS.
I can’t. But I can say this: Happy birthday, son. I love you. Like crazy. It’s your birthday, but it’s my becoming a mom day, so for thirteen years the gift has been mine.