Happy birthday, you amazing boy. At age six, he is finally able to wear 5T clothes. He was 5lbs. 15 oz. at birth, full term, and has always been small on the outside and big on the inside, so much so that his 8 and nearly 10 year old brothers treat him as an equal, allowing him to come into their room and play Legos with them. Most people are fairly impressed with his maturity, and I am frequently taken aback with the thoughtful observations he makes and questions he asks. He also has always had this "whiskey and cigar" voice that is almost comic coming from such a little guy.
We had a rough start, he and I. His was my longest labor, and by the time I finally went to sleep after his birth, I had been up for 48 hours straight, and it threw me into post-partum depression, which lasted for a couple of months. So our bonding was delayed.
My tiny infant son,
Smooth, elliptical head resting in my palm
Like a sun-warmed river-stone,
Scented with the musky odor of God’s own anointing.
Minute in size, you uncontainable mystery;
I cannot think of any answer,
I can barely formulate a question beyond, “How…?”
Little mite of a person, you have been known by God
For all eternity,
You, your ancestors, your descendants,
All visible to Him in His eternal Now,
All sharing you without knowing you, and none of us
Understanding really what role we play.
We stand on a darkened stage, blinded by the footlights,
Cradling a single puzzle-piece in our arms,
Knowing not how it all fits together,
Just hoping, praying, believing or not, that somehow
Has God brought you into a good world?
Not as good, perhaps, as mothers would have it.
My little one, you are not the fruit of my youth
But of my approaching middle age,
And I mourn the time I will not have with you,
But as long as I have you and you me,
I will try to make your world one bright with God’s beauty,
Banishing to the shadows the monsters born of our sin.
I will love away the darkness and bathe you in love,
I bequeath to you a shield of Love and with it a sword of Faith.
Know this, God’s bottom line:
That in all of life’s moments, those that appear to make sense
And those that do not,
In triumph, in trials, in the trivia of a thousand lifetimes,
In our ecstasies and agonies, our joys and sufferings
Only Love matters.
It is the only gift I can give you
That cannot be taken, lost or destroyed.
This is my lullaby, my prayer, my birthday gift to you,
My tiny infant son.
(written within the week of his birth)