“I was walking along looking for somebody, and then suddenly I wasn't anymore.”
But in my memory, there is no sound. Just your face, and the realization that you weren't a girl like I was so sure of before. Here was eight pounds, ten ounces of baby boy...what did I know about boys? Behind the rush of love, the relief that you were in my arms, and the surprise of how quickly it all happened, there was a tiny part of my heart that was truly frightened. I didn't know how to be a mama to you.
I'd been a mama already, of course, but Millie meant I could match patent leather shoes with ruffled dresses, play tea parties, and do all the things I'd done before in my own childhood. All I could see, holding you in my arms, was a boy who would grow into a man. I wondered, already, when you would be too embarrassed to hug me. I thought about you finding your first love, replacing me in an instant. You were so small, with your soft tufts of hair and your sweet, kissable cheeks.
But I kept thinking about you letting go of me.
The first few weeks of your life were difficult. We rushed you to a hospital an hour away one night for a surgery, and I've never felt so helpless. I looked out the hospital window to the sparkles of the city, and wished I could fix everything for you. But, oh, you were brave, sweet boy. And through my tears, I watched your courage and felt my own grow.
You have changed much in these twelve months; first smiles and first steps, sitting up and wobbling to stand, chatter that sounds like "mama" and "vroom"ing sounds with your cars. You are cheerful always, and your heart is so kind and so good. You will do anything to make me smile. You point to the airplanes in your room every time you wake, because all things are new with you and you want them to be new for me, too. Walter, I have been so proud to watch you grow this first year. I am so glad you will be a wonderful man someday. But for now, I am so glad that you are still my baby.
You spent this year doing many things. One of them was reassuring me.
I can't write songs, but if I could write one, it would be a love song.
And if I could write one, it would sound like you.