today you turn six.
and i fall more in love with you every day. still.
you were my one surprise. the one that God knew we needed even before we did.
you are the one that teaches me how to be a mama.
you were born on september 12, 2001. at the end of a long hot summer full of swollen feet and pre-eclampsia. you were induced. you were born into this world with much effort.
you were born into a country in the midst of turmoil. the morning before you made your arrival your daddy called me to say that i should watch the tv. i’ve never seen anything like it and i hope to never see anything again of it’s magnitude. and i thought of you all day. i held my belly as i cried for the future of our country. the future i held in my womb. what would you face? would you know a world as carefree as i had known? as innocent?
as we had our final check-up that day my doctor’s eyes were red and swollen from tears. and he wore a shirt with the american flag on it. on the way home i was overwhelmed with contrasts – i couldn’t understand how it could be such a beautiful day. i kept thinking that somehow God’s world would go on. you were proof. and i kept seeing little yellow butterflies all along the roadside -and still, when they begin to come around i’m reminded that it’s your birthday soon and that God still has plans for the world. the sky was a beautiful clear blue and the cooler winds had just begun to blow. we stopped to get gas and the station was overflowing with people that were panicking. we knew so little at that point. i went home and sat on the couch rubbing my belly, glued to the tv and crying continuously. i couldn’t understand it. and i couldn’t reconcile the world that swirled around me and the one that was contained within me.
your daddy and i tried to nap that afternoon. we knew we had a long road ahead of us, but we just couldn’t let our minds rest. so at 10:30pm on 9/11/01 we drove to the hospital to begin our journey with you. and as we drove into little rock, the eeriness of the empty sky near the airport was so palpable.
once there, i worked so hard for you. and your daddy worried. my blood pressure reached unreal heights. and then you were with us. and before i could even see you they whisked you to the other side of the room. “he’s a little floppy” our doctor said with a worried tone as the nurses bagged you. they breathed for you for the longest time. and while they worked so hard your daddy and i held hands and our breath. we prayed. we begged God for you. and i asked God why He would allow you to come into my life only to be taken away. and then you breathed your first. and away you went.
for the longest 5 hours of my life i didn’t get to see you. the hospital staff was worried about you. they wanted to monitor you. and they couldn’t get my blood-pressure down. i begged them. i knew if i could just hold you the world would be put right.
and it was. you nursed just like you had been waiting for me. you knew just what to do. and you were beautiful. your eyelashes were so dark and so long. you were so tiny at 6 pounds 5 1/2 ounces. the onsies we brought didn’t fit you. we went home and bought you preemies. and did i mention that you were so amazingly beautiful?
and the country? faded into the background. i find myself now so wanting to see more of that time because once you came into my life nothing else mattered. i knew that God would work it all out. and i no longer needed to monitor it all. i only needed you.
i remember the first night at home with you right beside our bed – i couldn’t sleep. i kept putting my hand on your tiny chest. were you breathing? i was terrified. and your father told me that i had to trust in my Father. that He had you no matter what. that i couldn’t worry like this. and so i gave you to Him. but sometimes i find myself trying to steal you back from Him.
the first year with you was absolutely wonderful. we couldn’t get enough of you. and then you and i had several tumultuous years together. and i doubted everything i did. and i sent you off to start kindergarten and i mourned that it was over. before it had even begun. i had spent your babyhood having more babies and then you were gone. and when i brought you home to teach you myself i felt such peace. i knew it wasn’t over. i breathed a sigh of relief.
because i knew it had actually just begun.