Sunday, 26 April 2009

A Dozen Years

After months of feeling your presence whenever I am with him, finally we meet. You are so many things that I am not. Young, flawlessly beautiful with your creamed-coffee complexion, long, lean and leggy. Politely deferrent, you look at him with a reverence I understand. Around your neck hangs a thin silver chain, a Valentine gift from him to you. For the very first time, this year, I received no Valentine from him. His eyes were only for you. You laugh at his jokes, reminding me how sharp his sense of humor has become. As I watch you together, I am reminded of how remarkable he is and how I so often have taken that for granted over the years. You are the first other woman in my life. This is going to take some time, some adjustment.

I'm certain that while you are the first, you will not be last. My hope is that your time with him will be special for him, although it is bittersweet for me. I loved him first, before any other and with a ferocity of which I had previously not known was possible. I have been faithful to him all these years and my love for him will remain so, even as I release him to you. My heart is certain and secure in the knowledge that my love for him has taught him how to give and receive love. My heart is confident there is room in his heart for me, you, and those that are in his future.

Today, my son is twelve. Caught in the temporary purgatory where he is no longer my little guy and not quite a man. He vacillates between childhood and adolescence. He needs me and to free of me at exactly the same time. Releasing my son into young adulthood is much like giving birth to him in the first place. It is painful, joyful, and frightening. He left my body only to latch upon me, periodically, whenever he needed food, comfort and reassurance. A similar process is occurring now. He leaves me, more and more often, but still he returns for his basic needs. The periods of his absence are growing gradually longer, his periods of return to me similarly shorter. If all goes as planned, this will continue until he finally leaves for good, creating a nest of his own. My home will no longer be his. My family will no longer be his immediate family. I will become his extended family rather than the nucleus of his family.

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. Twelve years ago today you made me a mommy. You've taught me more about myself than I ever wanted to know. You've propelled me out of myself and into a world that is so much brighter because of the light you shine in it. You've shown me how to live a life that is greater than my own selfish needs. You've taught me how to live for someone other than myself. You've made me a better person than I could have ever been without you.

I love you with a love that transcends not only my vocabulary, but my very understanding.


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