Tuesday, March 01, 2005

13 Years

How did he get to be 13?

I was pregnant out to yar and in red sweat pants the day of the fire that blessed his coming arrival. The winds had already spoken while I huddled under the covers in what was basically a 40 year old untied-down camper that served for two years as our home. I felt funny on Friday as we returned baby shower gifts for much more needed cash and went to a prenatal. Then I went into that slow prodromal labor pattern of mine. We went to Kroger and husband would walk blithely on down the isle while I stopped to have a contraction resting on the handle of the cart. Then he would notice and hurry back and do supportive sorts of things.

Then, days later and next thing you know, I needed to push. When husband asked if I was sure just as another contraction flowed through me, my grip on his arm nearly broke it and he never questioned whether I was sure of anything in labor ever again. Then we were in the car, me upside down, husband telling me where we were (at the bridge, at the store, at the light) and my water breaking and 20 miles later we were at the labor assistant’s house and husband wasn’t even going to go in but I said, I’m not going anywhere and so there he was born. We never again even thought of darkening a hospital’s door.

Son was a conehead from that car ride. We were in K-Mart when he was 12 hours old buying a car seat because I hated the one we had, one of those convertible ones. They said they didn’t have one and I said I wanted this one and by the Gods they found they could sell it too me after all. The power of lioness motherhood. Nursing, wet shirts, trying to find a nursing bra, finally getting to stay home and taking photographs of our brand-new small family backed by the super green new growth of grass after the fire. Josie helping us do laundry, the kindness that always brings tears to my eyes because so much of what we do is so . . . alone.

And now he is thirteen and so . . . himself. The mystic. The one who will not be tested; who, if you ask him a question he does not want to answer, just answers a question he likes better. The one who loves Red Skelton and Gilligan’s Island and humor that is simple and kind. The one who loves his cats and always does his chores without commentary. Caring and kind and solitary and heroic and bold and unassuming. Mystery.

The one who dared to come to us first, who changed us, who became the whole reason his ancestors ever existed.

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