Do you remember the first time that you knew I was here? Boy, were you surprised! I was going to be with you when you would lie down to sleep at night and all through your busy day, after you got up. I was going to be with you in everything you did, whether you were sitting at home or out on the road somewhere, like two peas in a pod.
Sometimes you would stay up late, walking the floor. Sometimes you cried. Sometimes you couldn’t eat. But, when you did eat, I shared your every meal, letting you know which foods were not my favorites – like Brussels sprouts. Whew! We spent half the night in the bathroom after that one. I know I make you sick sometimes – you can’t even stand the smell of coffee, your favorite drink – but I will make it up to you with kisses someday.
I am getting stronger and, one day, I was able to give you a little kick just to let you know that I was still here and doing well. However, you thought you had gas, so each day I would give you little kicks until you knew that it was really me. It was a fun game, because you would put your warm hand on the spot and say, “Oh, it moved!” Just for your information, I am not an “it.” I’m your baby boy and I will have brown hair and green eyes, just like yours. For now, though, I am your secret. Only you know that I am here, but I am growing bigger and bigger and soon others will know about me, too.
Do you remember that day when you turned on the electric blender to make a strawberry smoothie, my favorite? I had been taking a little snooze and the sudden noise made me jump. I think it scared you, too, because you started crying again. I didn’t mean to scare you so much. I only want you to be happy having me – just like I’m happy being yours.
I really like it when you play music – especially the slower, soft melodies. I stop kicking and rolling around just to listen. Sometimes I get so relaxed that I fall asleep. What a beautiful world I will be entering! I will get to see your face, drink lots of strawberry smoothies and listen to music.
Lately, I’ve been hearing other voices. Sometimes the voices sound kind, but sometimes they sound angry or mean. I hear words like, “shame,” “life limiting,” “burden,” and “poverty.” The loud voices don’t scare me, though, because I know that I am safe here with you.
Today we’re waiting to see the doctor. I’m so excited because he will tell you just how healthy and perfectly formed I am from the tip of my bald head to my tiny toes. Here he comes now…
Wait! What is the doctor doing? Stop, that hurts! Don’t take me away, please!
…Well, I guess I won’t get to see you after all…
Will you have another son like me someday? Will you remember me when you look into his eyes or hold him close as he nurses at your breast? When he learns to walk and talk, will you tell him about me, his brother? Will he get to drink strawberry smoothies and listen to beautiful music with you? Will he get to play first base on the Little League team and will you help him with his multiplication tables? Will that tall, young man in the graduation gown remind you of another son you briefly knew?
When you are older and almost finished with life’s struggles – the frantic scramble, the unmet goals, the disappointments, the hurts, all of the things that don’t seem so important anymore – will I come to mind? When you sit alone in the silence, sipping a cup of coffee and recalling the friends and family that have faded away, will you think of me? Who knows what my life would have been like? But, there’s one thing I do know, Mom. I would have eaten my Brussels sprouts, just for you.
by Debbie Reed